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One Essex Court has branched out into business consultancy and arbitration, taking on industry giant and former chairman of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission (MMC) Sir Sidney Lipworth QC
South Africa-qualified Lipworth is an honorary QC and has never practised law in the UK, but was formerly chairman of Zeneca Group, the Financial Reporting Council and the MMC. Lipworth has unique industry focus for a barrister. After leaving the MMC, he ran a huge Department of Environment arbitration for the packaging industry involving the likes of Unilever and Coca-Cola. But One Essex is attempting to get into arbitration late in the day compared with established sets such as 20 Essex Street. Barristers increasingly lose out to solicitors who keep competition work in-house. But Lipworth, in an interesting experiment, offers a unique way in for the set. However, he will have to demonstrate to corporates that he offers something over and above the law firms.