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Exchange Chambers has seen a return to growth for the 2012/13 financial year, with the set posting a revenue rise of 10 per cent.
It comes as chambers secured a barrister panel posting with the Medical Protection Society (MPS) in Manchester. The MPS, which provides legal advice to the medical profession, expanded its panel to Manchester following the relocation of the General Medical Council to the city in 2010.
In London the MPS has traditionally turned to Serjeants Inn, Outer Temple Chambers and One Crown Office Row, all of whom have maintained their panel places.
The Manchester set posted turnover of £23.4m, up 10 per cent on 2011/12, when the set saw revenue fall from £21.95m to £21.3m following the loss of Liverpool City Council as a client (9 July 2012).
Chief executive Tom Handley said: “These really are the best figures we could have produced in these more straitened times. We budgeted for £22m and have managed to exceed that; it’s a great testimony to our barristers.”
Head of chambers Bill Braithwaite QC added: “We’re ahead of budget with all our departments performing strongly.”
Handley added that the set had managed to avoid being impacted heavily by the legal aid spending cuts that will inevitably hit family practices by targeting top-end work. He commented:”We’ve always aimed at the bigger better work. In family, we’ve never done legal aid work.”
He continued: “We’ve also seen a lot of big ticket litigation that would have once gone to London come to town. Out costs are lower than London and our clients are seeing that.”
Handley said chambers had lowered its financial expectations for the forthcoming year as legal aid cuts takes hold and the personal injury model reforms kick in. He predicted that 2013/14 would mean negative growth for the set.