Fraud set born from 4KBW seeks image overhaul

The new specialist fraud set launching on 1 April from members of Robert Rhodes QC’s 4 King’s Bench Walk (4KBW) will abandon the traditional practice of having a chambers head in a bid to create a more corporate, less stuffy image.
Based in Clerkenwell, the new set will be called Lombard Chambers and will comprise all the biggest earners of 4KBW except Rhodes, who will remain with 4KBW until it dissolves at the end of April. The most senior member is Raymond Walker QC, although any decision-making will be spread throughout the new set. Bruce Stuart, a senior member of 4KBW, initiated the exodus.
The Lombard tenants will operate on a ‘library’ basis, sharing a few large rooms while being fully clerked. The nature of their work means they spend most of their time outside chambers.
Ian Lee, a consultant clerk at 4KBW, will head Lombard’s clerking team, which is expected to be four-strong. Lee is at the centre of an ongoing Bar Council probe into 4KBW over an alleged scam with Claims Direct involving paying commission in exchange for work. The association with Claims Direct has inevitably tarnished 4KBW’s reputation. Stuart said the set, which has an annual turnover of £4m, has also suffered from doing a mix of work rather than being focused in one area, which most clients prefer. The new set will focus on serious fraud.
The members of the new chambers will be: Greville Davis, Emma Edhem, Wendy Hewitt, Nigel Hood, Francesca Levett, Nicola Murphy, Samantha Riggs, Bruce Stuart, Simon Taylor and Raymond Walker QC.