New head at 9 Gough Sq vows modernisation

New head at 9 Gough Sq vows modernisationJohn Foy QC has stepped down ;as ;the ;head ;of chambers ;at ;9 Gough Square, handing over the reins to newly made-up silk Grahame Aldous QC, who has pledged to continue modernising the set.

Foy, who will continue to practise at the common law set, took the decision to vacate the top post as he had been head of chambers for eight years and felt it was time to hand on the baton.

Aldous ;said ;Foy’s particular achievement was to modernise the set’s personal injury and clinical negligence practice by bringing in conditional fee arrangements (CFAs).

“This practice is now a solid part of the business and shows we have the confidence of a modern business,” said Aldous. “Going forward, I’m another moderniser and expansionist, and I believe we’re well placed to deal with the changing market – be that issues such as alternative business structures or whatever the future may bring.”

The set is keeping its eye on alternative structures, but part of its immediate strategy is to secure 9 Gough Square’s position in the new legal climate through gradual controlled expansion.

Aldous said: “Chambers needs size in order to offer clients a set that provides strength and depth.”

He added that the set’s crime arm should be robust enough to weather the legal aid reforms as during Foy’s time it had grown a strong fraud base.

“We’re not expecting much of an impact, although the Carter reforms will have an effect to some extent,” said Aldous.

Asked to comment on Aldous’s appointment, the set’s chief executive John Kerr said: “A slight change in management always does an organisation good. Grahame taking on the role will help reinvigorate chambers.”