Byrom Street builds new premises

Byrom Street Chambers, the Manchester set made up entirely of QCs, has signed a deal to move into brand new purpose-built premises by the middle of next year.

The chambers, which was founded in the mid-1950s and is made up of 12 QCs, will be moving across the road from its current site in Byrom Street to a new four storey building being built on the site of Manchester's old county court buildings.

The set's new premises will be next door to the new Cobden House Chambers, which was formed last year by the merger of Bridge Street Chambers and Hollins Chambers.

The new premises will be twice the size of the set's current home and will have a library as well as three large consultation rooms.

Unlike the current building, it will also be adapted to cater for its disabled clients.

Giles Wingate-Saul QC, who sits on the set's building sub-committee, said the move had been driven by the need to improve the facilities that it could offer to its clients.

"It will mean that solicitors will realise we can provide the kind of facilities that their clients have come to expect," he said.

Wingate-Saul said the set currently had to hire out conference rooms elsewhere in the city for some of its larger conferences.

The chambers describes itself as a general common law set with a "heavy bias towards civil and commercial work". It has always had a policy of only accepting QCs as tenants.

Senior clerk Peter Collison, who has been at the chambers since 1975, said the set had originally provided barristers relocating to London on being awarded silk with a Manchester base but had developed into a set in its own right.

"We have no plans to change our policy of only taking on silks," he said.

The set has upgraded its IT systems by replacing its old non-Millennium compliant ACE system with the latest Windows-based product of rival suppliers Meridian.