Hardwicke Bldg splits civil and criminal teams

Multidisciplinary set Hardwicke Building will split into two groups next month following the arrival of 16 civil barristers from Goldsmith Building

From 4 July it will be known as Hardwicke Civil (incorporating its family capacity) and Hardwicke Criminal, although predominantly it will continue to operate as one set in its existing premises.
The arrival of the new tenants will increase the number of civil and family tenants to 67 with an annual turnover of nearly £9m. The set hopes to expand the criminal team from its current 33 tenants with a £3m turnover to 55 tenants in the next two years. Patrick Upward QC and Nigel Jones QC have been appointed heads of criminal and civil sets respectively.
Hardwicke follows the trend set by other chambers – most recently Cloisters – to demerge their civil and criminal groups. The moves have often been motivated by the superior earning power of civil practitioners compared with their criminal colleagues.
Chief executive Ann Buxton told The Lawyer: “We're re-emphasising the specialist identity of criminal and the specialist identity of civil.”
Buxton said that barristers' contributions will be “re-viewed on an ongoing basis”, but would not reveal further details. She added: “There is [currently] one fee-paying structure, which could be evolved over time to reinforce the independence of each part.”
Buxton's role will remain unchanged, as will that of overall head of chambers Nicholas Stewart QC, and the set will continue its policy of offering pupils criminal training. After completion of pupillage they will be able to choose between civil and criminal.
Hardwicke Buildings' senior civil clerk Greg Piner and junior civil clerk Paul Bunting have announced their decisions to leave the set. They are due to be replaced by Goldsmith Building's senior civil clerk, Danny O'Brian, first junior civil clerk Daniel Kemp, and third junior civil clerk Oliver Edwards. Hardwicke has also hired ancillary relief barrister Richard Buswell from 14 Gray's Inn Square.
Buxton said: “We've been going through a period of redefining our strategic direction. It is difficult to go through such change and we have had difficult moments.”