39 Essex St gains commercial director and six more tenants

Leading construction, commercial and public law set 39 Essex Street hasappointed its

first chambers director, lost its third tenant in two months,and at the same time is

gaining six new ones.Michael Meeson, partnership secretary dealing with operational

managementat City firm Rowe & Maw, will join the set as chambers director

inSeptember.The new role for Meeson, a former barrister, will be two-fold: managingthe

administration of the chambers and business development.The move towards chambers

directors is fast becoming common practice atthe Bar. Deputy head of chambers Richard

Wilmot-Smith QC says: “Theold-fashioned role of the senior clerk is no longer

feasible.”A Rowe & Maw spokesman says: “We are obviously disappointed to see him gobut

it is an excellent opportunity for him. We are in the process ofrecruiting to replace

him.”Meeson will not oversee the clerking function. This will continue to bemanaged by

senior clerk Nigel Connor, who will report independently to themanagement committee and

head of chambers, Edwin Glasgow QC.Internal restructuring is understood to be partly to

blame for a number ofdepartures from the set in the past two months.Tim Ward went to

Monckton Chambers and his departure was followed by thehighly-rated Richard Gordon QC,

who has joined the “magic circle”commercial set at Brick Court Chambers.Gordon will now

be joined at Brick Court by junior tenant Alan Maclean.However, the set has been able

to boost its contingent with six newappointments.Rohan Pershad joins from 2 Crown Office

Row and Daniel Oudkerk from 22 OldBuildings. Both are experts in professional negligence

and insurance law.Frances Patterson QC, a planning expert who was recently involved in

theManchester Airport inquiry, will become an associate tenant. She is alsobased at 40

King Street in Manchester.The set has also taken on three out of four of its pupils,

signalling anew expansionist policy.Previously, the 45-tenant set, which includes

chairman of the Bar DanBrennan QC, has grown by only two new tenants a year.The set has

also profited from the new appointments to Attorney General RtHon John Morris QC's two

senior panels of civil counsel.Out of a total of 33 appointments of junior barristers,

eight are from 39Essex Street.They are Stuart Catchpole, Alison Foster, Eleanor Grey,

Steven Kovats,Jennifer Richars, Sean Wilken, Samuel Grodzinski and Alan Maclean.