Director leaves after strategy dispute

John Malpas reports

THE UK'S largest set has parted company with the marketing director it appointed just six months ago to raise its profile.

Five Fountain Court in Birmingham says it is not planning to replace Olivier Morel, who joined the set to give "structure and depth" to its marketing policy. Morel is the second senior manager to have left the chambers within a year.

In July last year, former practice director David Symonds agreed an out of court settlement with the chambers after leaving the set in the spring following a contractual dispute.

Morel's departure, however, is being described as amicable. He said there were irreconcilable differences between him and the chambers over its marketing strategy.

Senior clerk Tony McDaid described Morel's departure as a "great pity" but agreed that his views about the set's marketing strategy differed radically from the those of the chambers.

McDaid, who has taken over the marketing tasks assigned to Morel, said the chambers had no plans to replace Morel in the near future although it had just opened a seminar centre and was considering appointing someone to run that.

He stressed that the set, which now has 69 tenants, was continuing to expand and had just taken on the senior chancery specialist Steven Whitaker from Peter Crampin QC and Miles Shillingford's chambers at 11 New Square in London.

Morel's appointment to the chambers in September was accompanied by considerable optimism. The set had changed its administrative structures in order to accommodate a marketing manager who reported to McDaid.

In an interview with The Lawyer when he took up his post, Morel said a key task was to develop a client care system for the chambers.

Morel is now advising various law firms on marketing on a consultancy basis.