20 Essex Street takes Holman Fenwick commercial director for new role

20 Essex Street has hired Holman Fenwick Willan’s (HFW) commercial director James Huckle for a newly-created strategic development director post, marking a continued push towards business development at the bar.

Huckle will join chambers in the New Year and work closely with co-head Duncan Matthews QC and the set’s management board to focus on growing members’ domestic and international practices.

The addition follows the exit of 20 Essex Street’s longstanding senior clerk Brian Lee last month to take up a marketing post at 7KBW after 26 years at chambers (8 October 2014). Lee became 7KBW’s first marketing director, echoing the decision taken by 20 Essex Street to add to its business development arsenal.

In September Doughty Street also restructured its clerking team in part to hone in on business development and client management (29 September 2014).

Before joining chambers Huckle spent seven years at HFW and previously worked at Linklaters as global head of corporate marketing. His background also includes a spell at Deloitte. The growing importance of the international market to sets has resulted in a growing need for marketing nous at the bar.

20 Essex Street became the first set to launch in Singapore in 2009 with Simon Milnes, Ben Olbourne and Nakul Dewan all currently practising from the office in Maxwell Chambers.

Huckle said: “The English bar is entering a fascinating, yet challenging period and as such, I’m excited by the international focus of 20 Essex Street, plus its very strong position and reputation in commercial litigation and arbitration. My hire demonstrates that members are committed to building an even stronger business for the set in the future.”

Chambers co-heads Christopher Hancock QC and Duncan Matthews QC added in a statement: “[Huckle’s] recruitment reflects our commitment to ensuring 20 Essex Street is appropriately resourced to meet the requirements of a fast-changing and increasingly sophisticated global legal market.”