Top sets defy downturn with massive turnover rise

The majority of leading chambers have reported significant increases in this year's turnover. Fountain Court is leading the pack with a mammoth 32 per cent rise in fees to £25m.
Brick Court has displaced One Essex Court as the set with the highest turnover. It is the first chambers to break the golden £30m mark, after an increase of 24 per cent. The set attributes this to a bumper year for all tenants and a slightly higher than usual recouping of aged debt.
Fountain Court recorded the best year in its history after a slight dip last year after the loss of its highest-ranking silks. Its chambers contributions – the percentage of a barrister's earnings paid to chambers to cover overheads – also dropped this year to an all-time low of 14 per cent, around 2 per cent lower than last year.
3-4 South Square saw its turnover increase by 25 per cent to £15m, as it prepares for international expansion. Blackstone's turnover rose 13 per cent to almost £21m, and Essex Court and 3 Verulam Buildings had respectable increases of 10 per cent to £26.4m and just under £16m respectively.
New commercial chancery set Maitland Chambers performed well by remaining static at £14.5m, despite three losses at its senior end to the bench and retirement. The largest commercial chancery set Wilberforce Chambers saw a comfortable £1m rise to £17m, and Crown Office Row reported 5 per cent growth, taking it past the £14m mark.
One Essex Court, while continuing a run of big cases, fared less well with turnover remaining the same at around £25m. Chambers contributions have dipped from 12 per cent to between 10-11 per cent.