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The practice manager at the biggest chambers in the country has quit.
Robin Butchard has left his post at St Philip's Chambers in Birmingham to become senior clerk at the chambers of Andrew Campbell QC at 10 Park Square in Leeds.
Butchard's departure comes just two weeks after St Philip's lost senior junior Richard Perks to neighbouring 3 Fountain Court.
The losses are the first since the merger last year which created the giant set of 83 tenants.
Chief executive Vincent Denham says: "I am very keen to dispel any theory that [Butchard's departure] was in any way connected with the merger. He's decided that the structure of a more corporate nature - which is what we are - did not suit him."
"It is likely that Clive Witcomb will take over as chief clerk and extra resources will go into the civil and criminal clerking teams," he adds.
Witcomb was senior clerk at No 7 Fountain Court prior to the merger.
Denham also denied suggestions that the administrative burden of two practice managers as well as his own, newly created, post of chief executive could no longer be supported.
Butchard will take up his new post on 19 April, replacing Craig Place, who parted company with the Leeds set two weeks ago.
Practice director Victoria Thompson says the set has plans for continued expansion following the poaching of four new members from a rival set last September.
"We're excited about the expertise and experience Robin will bring," she says.