Criminal and fraud set 15 New Bridge Street is to merge with commercial fraud and money laundering specialists Lombard Chambers before the end of the year.

The decision to amalgamate comes as a response to what the sets call “the Government’s determined effort to cut funding for legal aid”.

The newly formed set is hoping to be at a critical mass, which will mean any loss in public funding will have less impact on members of chambers.

The combined 54-member set’s head of chambers will be Patrick Upward QC of 15 New Bridge Street, with Lombard’s chief Raymond Walker QC continuing as a tenant.

Senior clerk Gary Brown of 15 New Bridge Street and senior clerk Ian Lee of Lombard will act as joint senior clerks.