Riverview adds to barrister roster with Francis Taylor licensing team

Riverview Chambers, the advocacy arm of fixed-fee outfit Riverview Law, is to break into the licensing market after adding a team of eight barristers from Francis Taylor Buildings to its roster.

The eight-strong team, which includes Gerald Gouriet QC, Kevin de Haan QC and David Matthias QC, is focused on licensing law.

Riverview Chambers launched in February last year with a team of 43 barristers, 12 of whome were silks, including Outer Temple’s Richard Lissack QC (20 February 2012). Barristers who sign up to the venture can keep tenancy at their sets whilst also holding door tenancy at Riverview.

It is understood that many sets have instituted constitutional changes to prevent barristers taking advantage of the venture, fearing that it could mean the loss of income to a rival set.

Nevertheless, Riverview has managed to expand over the last year by adding a four-barrister family team led by Christopher Pocock QC of 1 King’s Bench Walk (12 July 2012) before the latest hires.

The Francis Taylor licensing team also includes barristers James Rankin, Jeremy Phillips, Gary Grant, Juan Lopez and Leo Charalambides.

Riverview’s director of operations Jeremy Hopkins said: “We [hired this team] after finding an opportunity in the market, it’s an area where the bar is really strong but needs a bit of infrastructure around it.

“From the licensing point of view, if we secure a large contract with a large corporate then we will probably need to build in more operational staff to specifically manage that sector.”

Gouriet, who was called to the bar in 1974, advises Transport For London on issues relating to taxi and private hire vehicle licensing, while Mathias, called in 1980, has a client list that includes Capita Symonds, West Ham United and Westminster City Council. De Haan has a particular focus on the gambling sector.

Riverview Chambers was launched with the aim of providing direct access to companies on a fixed-fee basis. Riverview Solicitors, the chambers’ sister firm, provides routine advice to business clients, also on a strict fixed-fee basis. Its model is based on annual contracts with pricing determined by the size of the company.