8 King St folds after merger talks founder

Manchester-based 8 King Street Chambers has collapsed after failed ­merger talks with common law set 18 St John Street Chambers.

Former 8 King Street head of chambers David Eccles confirmed that the set had been dissolved ­following the breakdown of the merger talks.

“We had a good chambers but we felt that the set was too small,” explained Eccles, who has joined Deans Court Chambers. “When the talks fell apart we felt 8 couldn’t survive on its own, as by then five people had ­decided to leave chambers. When 8 folded there were 30 of us left.”

If the merger had gone ahead the set would have been one of the larger ­chambers in Manchester with around 85 members.

Eccles said: “The reality is that sets are becoming bigger ;and ;bigger ;in ­Manchester as there’s safety in numbers and it keeps expenses down.
“The bigger the set the more bulk work and ­solicitors it will attract, which is what’s needed to survive.”

The 37 barristers who were still with 8 King Street at the beginning of the year are now spread across 10 chambers. 9 St John Street was the biggest recruiter with 11 new members, while 18 St John Street took four tenants after the ­negotiations broke down.