A group of star silks are breaking away from Hollis Whiteman Chambers to launch the most significant new set since Matrix Chambers was formed in 2000.
Julian Bevan QC, Timothy Langdale QC John Kelsey-Fry QC, and leading juniors Richard Horwell and Ian Winter are all understood to be leaving together with tenants from other leading criminal sets, including Edmund Lawson QC of 9-12 Bell Yard.
The barristers have declared their bold intention to form a set comprised only of QCs and leading juniors, who will focus on private and high-cost work.
The departures coincide with management changes at Hollis Whiteman as it comes to terms with the implications of the proposed changes to legal aid funding proposed by Lord Carter in his recent legal aid procurement review.
The chambers' legendary senior clerk Michael Greenaway retires after nearly 50 years clerking in the Temple. Hollis Whiteman met on Saturday (25 February) to approve the new structure, which will involve the hire of a chambers director and assistant and a new senior clerk.
Hollis Whiteman chambers head Vivian Robinson QC said: "As a set with a 40-year history, it's essential we equip ourselves with the management structure to meet future challenges. We're firmly committed to providing a quality service in the crime, regulatory and professional discipline fields and to undertaking both publicly funded and private work."
Kelsey-Fry, Langdale and Lawson declined to comment. Bevan, Horwell and Winter could not be reached for comment.