New director to push Hardwicke overhaul

Hardwicke Building is completely overhauling its structure and organising into four key client divisions as it aims to break into The Lawyer top 20 sets by ­revenue within five years.

Nigel Jones

Nigel Jones

The set has hired Matrix Chambers practice director Amanda Illing to drive the initiative, which will also include a rebranding exercise.

“We wanted to bring in a practice manager who will head the divisions and get to know the clients and what they want,” said head of chambers Nigel Jones QC.

As practice director, Illing will report to chief executive Ann Buxton and will be responsible for the four practice groups – each of which will have its own manager.

The set currently divides into practice areas such as family law, housing law and education law. This will be scrapped in favour of four key divisions: commercial, public, insurance and property, and private client.

The clerking role will be scrapped in favour of practice directors, who will be appointed by Illing. Jones said the chambers’ clerks were in support of the initiative but it was not yet clear where they would sit in the new structure – Illing would be instrumental in deciding that.

Jones said the set would look to build alliances directly with non-lawyer clients such as accountancy firms and in-house corporate teams as it opens up to a new client base.