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Exodus creates UK's largest set; Goldsmith's future in doubt
In what is believed to be the largest single defection from a set of chambers, 16 barristers are leaving multi-disciplinary set Goldsmith Building to join Hardwicke Building. Although there have been largescale moves following the dissolution of sets, this is understood to be among the largest rounds of lateral hires in Bar history. Goldsmith Building, founded in 1833, was unavailable to comment and the future of the remaining 17 members of chambers is unclear. Christopher Llewllyn-Jones QC recently stepped down as head of the chambers to join the circuit bench. It has a wide-ranging practice, encompassing property, negligence, criminal, family and commercial. The move will establish Nicholas Stewart QC's Hardwicke Building as the largest set in the country with more than 100 tenants, if only for a short time - as revealed by www.thelawyer.com/ lawyernews, earlier this week, Birmingham set St Philips is in merger talks that could see it grow to 133 tenants. The 16 arrivals, of whom the most senior is personal injury (PI) and clinical negligence counsel John Gallagher, specialise in a mix of commercial, property, PI, and clinical and professional negligence. Hardwicke, which already has barristers specialising in these fields as well as family and criminal, will also benefit from education expertise arising out of the new arrivals. Hardwicke's chief executive Ann Buxton said: "This group of quality practitioners will further strengthen the set's civil group, who will in future be operating in specialist practice groups in response to the changing needs of existing and new solicitors." Hardwicke's head of civil Nigel Jones QC said: "The commercial side and the PI and clinical negligence teams are being developed coextensively, and there is no greater emphasis on one or the other. They are groups with different client bases and different skills."