Birmingham set in recruitment drive

Birmingham set 8 Fountain Court Chambers is on a major recruitment drive after losing barristers to rival chambers.

It is believed to be in negotiations with Claremont Chambers in Wolverhampton. Its tenants are understood to have made a group application to join 8 Fountain Court.

So far, only four offers are thought to have been made, while only Ruth Tonge and Naomi Hobbs have been confirmed as new tenants.

The set is also being joined by Rupert Driscoll, formerly of Clock Chambers in Wolverhampton, and Stephen Garner, previously a pupil at 5 Fountain Court Chambers in Birmingham.

Tenancies are also going to former pupils Liam Murdin and James McCracken. Senior clerk Christina Maloney says further appointments are imminent.

But 8 Fountain Court has just lost barristers Richard Ace, Stephen Murray, Julie Sparrow and Sally Hickman to 4 Fountain Court, and Nicholas Starks to Birmingham set St Ive's Chambers. It is rumoured a further two barristers are also leaving the chambers.

The merger talks between two other Birmingham sets, New Court Chambers and Victoria Chambers, have fallen through. A spokesman for Victoria Chambers told the Lawyer that it was decided a merger with New Court would be of no benefit to the set.