HSF advocacy chief Murray Rosen quits to return to the bar

The co-head of Herbert Smith Freehills’ (HSF) advocacy unit Murray Rosen QC has retired from the firm to return to the bar, The Lawyer can reveal. 

Murray Rosen QC
Murray Rosen QC

His resignation comes weeks after the firm hired Maitland Chambers’ silk Tom Leech QC (9 January 2014) in what marked a rare silk hire for the firm.

Rosen insisted that his move, which will see him leave in April, would not impact the firm’s advocacy unit, which launched in 2005 (21 March 2005).

“As far as I am concerned personally, this is job done,” Rosen told The Lawyer. “The nine years which have passed since we launched the unit have seen massive market changes, but our unique model and staffing has made us stronger leaders than ever. So it is time for Unit version 2.0 – the Next Generation.”

Rosen had acted for legacy Herbert Smith more than 50 times before he launched the unit in 2005, alongside co-head Ian Gatt QC, who was then a recent silk from Littleton Chambers (11 April 2005). Gatt will continue to head up the unit at Exchange House.  

Rosen’s next move is not yet decided, although it is confirmed that he will return to the bar and continue working as an advocate. He was made silk in 1993 and was head of chambers at 11 Stone Buildings before joining legacy Herbert Smith. 

His departure will leave the unit with three partners – Gatt, Adam Johnson and Leech, who joins next week.

Traditionalists at the bar took exception to Herbert Smith’s decision to hire silks to kick-start its own advocacy practice in 2005, although chambers were, at least publicly, being supportive. Read more about the origin of the unit in Bar Wars.