20 Essex Street has hired energy and European disputes silk and former Eversheds lawyer Gordon Nardell QC from 39 Essex.

Nardell, who took silk in 2010, is known for his work on renewables and energy infrastructure disputes, as well as acting in procurement and competition disputes in the telecoms and financial services markets.

He joined 39 Essex in 2001 following four years as an associate at Eversheds and two further years as assistant counsel to the UK Parliamentary Counsel office.

20 Essex has grown by as much as 15 per cent in the last two years, The Lawyer understands, taking on six pupils and two international juniors, Monica Feria-Tinta and Albert Dinelli, during that time.

The set now has 20 silks including Nardell. Its joint heads of chambers Christopher Hancock QC and Duncan Matthews QC took on the post in August 2014 from longstanding chief Iain Milligan QC.

20 Essex grew substantially under Milligan’s 15-year tenure up to 76 members. It also opened an outpost in Singapore in 2010.

The set is taking on more space in the New Year from its neighbour Fountain Court, which is also expanding into next door when 39 Essex relocates to 81 Chancery Lane in December.

The move prompted 39 Essex to drop the ‘street’ from its original name 39 Essex Street in March.

39 Essex has also seen slow but steady growth in recent years, taking two new tenants from No5 and Hardwicke in May and appointing Julianna Wong as its Asia business manager from 20 Essex Street in the same month. It also appointed its first female head of chambers this year, naming Alison Foster QC as successor to Stephen Tromans QC.

However overall headcount at the set is down on its 2012/13 high of 116 members, when it took 24 new tenants from 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square. The set now has 108 tenants.