Birmingham “super-set' goes ahead

A proposed merger between two leading Birmingham commercial sets Priory Chambers and 7 Fountain Court creating a super-set with over 70 tenants, has been officially announced.

The plans, revealed last week by The Lawyer, have been confirmed by the heads of chambers of the sets, Patricia Deeley, of Priory Chambers and Rex Tedd QC, of 7 Fountain Court, who said there were “detailed negotiations to establish a major new set of chambers”.

Tenants at both sets have voted to merge and it is understood the sets are hoping to conclude negotiations by Whitsun.

But, before they can merge, the sets must overcome several obstacles, most notably how the administration of both sets will be combined. It is understood the chambers run different IT systems and merging the two clerking teams is bound to have its difficulties.

Sources say some clerks at the sets were kept in the dark about the merger until recently.

Claims that the new set “will be the largest in the UK” have also been questioned. Tony McDaid, senior clerk at 5 Fountain Court, said: “We have 76 members of chambers and by our calculations their new set will have 73 unless they intend to include door tenants.”

Robin Butchard, senior clerk at Priory Chambers said the new set would have “over 70 tenants” but declined to comment further.

No one at 7 Fountain Court was available for comment.