2KBW trio spread their wings in Goldsmith Building move

Chris fogarty reports

Common law set Goldsmith Building has poached three leading education law barristers from 2 King's Bench Walk, headed by Lord Campbell of Alloway QC.

The arrival of John Friel, Deborah Hay and Clive Rawlings, who will develop a public and administrative law practice at the set, is part of the chambers' strategy to increase the range of services it offers to its clients.

Rawlings said the trio had decided to join the set, which is headed by John Williams QC, in a bid to broaden their practices outside the confines of education, which had been their specialism at their previous chambers.

They were also attracted by the chance to help set up a new practice and by their new chambers' perceived marketing strengths.

While both Hay and Rawlings were called to the Bar in the 1990s and are considered up and coming in the field, Friel, who has 27 years experience and is highly rated, is the chambers' greatest catch.

Between them the three have worked with about 120 solicitors' firms. Rawlings said he expected that some of those clients would remain loyal to his old chambers.

Edith Robertson, senior clerk at Goldsmith Building, said clients were increasingly looking to use one set for all their needs and the setting up of a public and administrative law section was one way in which the chambers was responding to this.

"I think solicitors, and especially solicitors in small firms, like coming to one set," she explained.

Barrister George Papageorgis of 2 King's Bench Walk, said the set already had two to three other tenants who could fill the breach left by the trio's departure, while the chambers would also be looking to recruit further replacements.