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Littleton Chambers has significantly boosted its commercial profile with three big-hitting lateral hires.
Lord Hacking (see profile, right), Antonio Bueno QC, the former head of chambers at 5 Paper Buildings, and Julian Malins QC, a highly rated financial services expert from One Hare Court, have accepted tenancies.
The new tenants, who join in February, will consolidate Littleton's reputation as a leading commercial set.
However, chief executive David Douglas says this is not the prelude to an onslaught on the magic circle through rapid expansion.
"We are not looking to become a mega-set. We are still looking to grow, but growing in specific areas - commercial, employment and professional negligence," he says.
Hacking is a CEDR qualified mediator and as an arbitrator his profile fits Littleton's alternative dispute resolution team.
In March last year, the set formed a mediation services business, Littleton Dispute Resolution Services, owned and operated by 12 of the set's 34 barristers. The business offers commercial clients the services of a mediator and rooms where the meetings can be held.
Hacking says: "Littleton was has a very good mediation group and it has pioneered doing mediation work. They were really interested in matching their already strong capacity in mediation with a similarly strong capacity for arbitration."
Bueno, renowned for his banking and commercial fraud expertise, is disciplinary tribunal chairman of the Financial Services Authority (FSA). He also has an established practice in the Cayman Islands.
Malins is a specialist in international trade, financial services law, insurance and shipping. He is a disciplinary tribunal chairman of the FSA.