Top set turns headhunter to lure silks

Hardwicke Buildings, one of the Bar's largest sets, has signalled the arrival of more aggressive recruiting techniques after luring top silks Nicholas Stewart QC and George Pulman QC to the chambers.

Traditionally barristers have switched sets because of internal problems or dissatisfaction with the clerk, but in order to boost the number of QCs at the chambers, the set targeted both silks and asked them to join up.

Pulman, a recorder and a former member of the Legal Aid Board, welcomed the arrival of active recruiting at the Bar, which he said would help raise standards.

Pulman joined Hardwicke Buildings from 1 Temple Gardens where he specialised in personal injury.

Stewart left 15 Old Square three years ago to go solo but said that despite his move to join the 67 tenants at Hardwicke he had immensely enjoyed working on his own. A Deputy High Court Judge, and chair of the Bar Human Rights Commission, Stewart, who is highly regarded as a sports lawyer, charges £1,600 a day.

Hardwicke Buildings chief executive Tony Wells said that the arrival of the two QCs was part of a recruitment strategy as the set wanted to grow from having just three silks among more than 60 tenants.

“This is a young set and there are a lot of very good young people in it but at the top end we were short of silks,” added Wells.