Appointment casts doubt on clerks' role

A LEADING family set of chambers, One Garden Court, is to appoint a new chambers chief executive, making it the latest of a growing number of sets to overhaul its administrative structures.

Last week's announcement has thrown into question the future role of the set's experienced and highly-regarded senior clerk, Peter Hoskins.

It will also further unsettle senior clerks and practice managers in other chambers who are becoming increasingly alarmed about their futures as chambers reshape their administrative structures.

Hoskins, who works alongside practice manager Howard Rayner, pulled off a coup earlier this year by helping to lure nine family barristers to the set from 22 Old Buildings. He is currently on leave, and the chambers would not comment on his future role.

Its joint heads, Eleanor Platt QC and Alison Ball QC, said no one had been asked to leave and the restructuring had the “cooperation of staff.”

Fountain Court head of chambers Peter Scott QC, whose set recently replaced its senior clerk with a chambers director, said there was now a need for greater legal experience at the administrative level.

“The trend is for people responsible for administrating the lives of lawyers to have external legal expertise.” said Scott.