Head of chambers: Christopher Katkowski QC
Senior clerk: Jay Fullilove
Total number of tenants (silks): 62 (18)
Total number of staff: 18
Key clients: Ashurst, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Denton Wilde Sapte, Herbert Smith, HM Treasury Solicitors, Lovells, Nabarro Nathanson, Pinsent Masons
Recent cases: Cadogan v Sportelli, Ex parte Barker; Haw v Home Secretary, Livingstone v Adjudication Panel for England, Pascoe v First Secretary of State
Lateral hiring has been the name of the game for Landmark Chambers since it was founded almost five years ago.
Landmark was established in 2002 and has grown by almost 25 per cent since, with 17 new barristers bolstering the numbers to 62.
The birth of Landmark came when Eldon Chambers and 4 Breams Buildings merged after both struggled to retain and recruit new barristers. The merger created the largest planning team of barristers in the country.
Head of chambers Christopher Katkowski QC says the expansion has been part of a deliberate strategy that sought to add to the set’s strength and depth after its merger.
“We simply didn’t see the merger as an end but as a beginning and we’ve been implementing a proactive, as well as reactive, strategy ever since,” says Katkowski. “We were looking to increase our numbers at every level, be it silks or juniors, and in the last five years we’ve seen our intake increase by three times its natural rate, which would come from taking on four to five pupils.”
Landmark wants to make sure it can offer a strong range of lawyers at any level, so that if a client’s requested barrister is not at hand another of equal experience and quality can handle the case. That way the customer “never feels let down”, says Katkowski.
The chambers has also implemented a drive to create a recognisable brand.
“It’s a simple idea, but we wanted Landmark’s name to stand for a quality mark of assurance,” says Katkowski, who is better known to many as ‘KitKat’.
It is through providing a strong, quality team that Katkowski feels the set has retained its influential long-term clients, such as the UK Government.
The retention of longstanding clients and the acquisition of ones it has gained through direct professional access, such as planning firm RPS Group, has led to Landmark seeing its turnover swell by 20 per cent to £16m since the merger, with the set currently 15 per cent ahead of its predicted growth for the current year.
Although no targets have been set, the chambers is looking to continue expanding both its barrister and client counts.
He adds: “To do this we will be raising our profile in property and public
law and consolidating our planning and environment practice to ensure our
position as market leaders.”