Gorna's chambers disintegrates as former members start afresh

John Malpas reports

A NEW set of chambers is opening up in Exeter following the break-up of Christina Gorna's Castle Chambers set.

Gorna founded Castle Chambers in 1990, but announced earlier this month that she was standing down as head of chambers in order to concentrate on her national career.

Now four members of the set have clubbed together to form their own chambers – Rougemont Chambers. The move, along with the decision of Castle Chambers senior clerk Jan Wood to become a freelance clerk, signals the demise of Gorna's set.

Chancery specialist Michael Berkley is the most senior of the Rougemont Chambers tenants, but there will be no head of chambers.

The new set will conduct a broad range of civil and some criminal work, and be clerked by David Parker, who was senior clerk for seven years at the Exeter chambers Walnut House, before spending a brief period at 10 Bolt Court in London.

"For the time being we're going to consolidate. We're going to concentrate on providing a dependable and reliable service," Parker said.

Meanwhile, ex-member of the Castle Chambers, Marisa Smith, who had been planning to join Rougemont Chambers as its head, has now decided to join Newton Abbot firm Woollcombe Beer Watts' family department as an advocate.