Movement at the bar

The true volatility of life at the bar was dramatically highlighted this week by the unprecedented event of five leading silks moving chambers.

The departure of Sir Nicholas Lyell QC from Brick Court Chambers shows that not even the magic circle is secure from rival chambers poaching its leading barristers.

Such movement, as well as mergers, closures and structural reorganisation, will only intensify this year. Massive upheaval is inevitable as many of the antiquated historical practices of the bar are driven out by the modernisers, and not even the Bar Council can stop it.