Top duo leaves 2 Gray's Inn Square

Common law set 2 Gray's Inn Square has lost practice manager Paul Simpson and senior clerk Bill Harris.

The departure of Simpson and Harris is understood to be the result of the Crown Prosecution Service's (CPS) decision to cull its panel of prosecuting chambers. Several other sets have also lost a number of tenants or clerks.

Simpson left chambers last week, while Harris will work until just before Christmas.

Head of chambers Giles Eyre refuses to comment on the reasons for the departures but says: “We are taking the opportunity to restructure the management structure here.”

Harris is moving to specialist housing and local government set Arden Chambers.

He will replace senior clerk Barry Landa, who is leaving the profession for personal reasons.

The CPS panel, cut last November from 38 to 27 sets, guarantees 80 per cent of London prosecution work to chambers registered with it.

However, at the time of the cull, 2 Gray's Inn insisted it asked to be taken off the list.

Conservative estimates show that more than 30 barristers have moved out of the 11 sets since the cull.Worst hit have been Carl Teper's 1 Gray's Inn Square, Dermot Wright's 3 Temple Gardens and the recently merged 11 Bolt Court. They are understood to have each lost six tenants in the last 10 months. In June, Bridewell Chambers, one of the sets to be axed from the preferred sets list, parted company with its senior clerk Norman Brooks.

Harris and Simpson are both unavailable for comment.