Burton's set swaps old offices for modern

John Malpas reports

MICHAEL Burton QC's 2 Crown Office Row set has moved to new offices.

But the set, now renamed Littleton Chambers, has not left the confines of the Temple.

Instead it has moved into what it says is the first purpose-built set of chambers in the Temple for over 150 years.

Practice manager David Douglas says the commercial law set, established in 1954, was bursting at the seams at its old home with barristers housed in a cluster of buildings.

Now the 28-member set, which includes five QCs, is based in one office complex occupying four floors of Littleton Building, recently constructed by Inner Temple on the site of Niblett Hall, a former students' bar.

The chambers backs onto 3 King's Bench Walk North and an atrium links the main offices to an annex there occupied by head of chambers Michael Burton QC and a handful of other senior tenants.

Burton says bringing all the barristers under one roof will help forge a feeling of identity while the modern facilities will give them a competitive edge.

Douglas says the set had been on the look-out for a new home for several years before it entered into an agreement with the Inner Temple to move into the new building. He says the move represents a major investment for the set.

"Although we knew we had to move, a lot of barristers did not want to move out of the confines of the Temple," he says. "We feel we have got the best of both worlds with a thoroughly modern set based in the traditional environment of the Temple."

The move coincides with the introduction of a new computer system at the chambers. Douglas says it will now be possible to computerise the accounts and run an electronic diary – two improvements on the previous system. The chambers will also be operating a modem network to allow barristers to work from home.