Pump Court trio quit for rival

Three barristers have quit 1 Pump Court to go to Doughty Street Chambers. The departures include leading civil liberties and housing junior Robert Latham, who set up the chambers and was, effectively, its head.

Latham and fellow housing specialists Tracey Bloom and Stephen Reeder start at 48-tenant Doughty Street on Monday this week.

Bloom said: “This is strategic development and a chance for us to link up with senior people practising housing law.

“Discussions have taken place for a while – there is a lot of fluidity in chambers now and specialised teams are the way the Bar is going.”

The departures leave 1 Pump Court with 40 tenants but only two remaining housing specialists. Senior clerk Ian Burrow said neither harboured any wish to leave and the set was committed to rebuilding the team.

Pump Court tenant Alison Russell said the news had “taken us by surprise”.

But she added: “It does not really affect us. Our biggest teams are in crime and family.”

Russell said the chambers was run “democratically” through a management committee rather than a head of chambers. Latham had been secretary of the committee.

She added that chambers tenant Mary Isles had ass-umed his place while a long-term solution was decided.