Co-op Legal Services adds 13 chambers to bar panel

The Co-operative Legal Services (CLS) bar panel review has come to a close, with 20 sets of chambers winning appointments.

The successful sets of chambers were picked from an initial group of more than 60 that were identified as having the necessary skill and experience. Over 30 sets of chambers were invited to take part in the procurement round, before the final 20 were finalised.

Those appointed will handle family, employment, personal injury and legal expenses insurance work. They may deal with one or more of these areas.

The results of the review greatly expand CLS’s bar panel, which stood at only five sets of chambers focusing on family law when it was set up in October 2012 (1 October 2012). All five have been retained – Manchester-headquartered St John’s Buildings and Nottingham-based St Mary’s Chambers were instructed in the north, while 3 Paper Buildings picked up the remit for Bristol and London alongside 4 Paper Buildings and 14 Gray’s Inn in London.

New sets added include 42 Bedford Row and 1 Garden Court in London, Birmingham-based Citadel Chambers, and East Anglian Chambers in Ipswich.

CLS said the family panel had been successful enough in its year-long trial to warrant an expansion into other practice areas.

CLS principal solicitor Chris May said in a statement: “The successful chambers were drawn from a very long list of contenders and all of them have demonstrated first-class legal capability as well as a willingness to work with us on attaining our goal of becoming the leading consumer services provider in the country.”

CLS was among the first organisations to be granted an ABS licence, in March 2012 (28 March 2012).

In October, CLS abandoned its aim to offer 100 training contracts annually, following a poor financial performance during the 2012/13 financial year. It took on just 10 trainees in September (15 October 2013).

List of chambers appointed:

1 Garden Court, London
1 Kings Bench Walk, London
1 Pump Court, London
3 Paper Buildings, London
4 Paper Buildings, London
12 Kings Bench Walk, London
14 Grays Inn Square, London
42 Bedford Row, London
Citadel Chambers, Birmingham
Coram Chambers, London
Deans Court Chambers, Manchester
East Anglian Chambers, Ipswich
Guildhall, Bristol
Magdalen Chambers, Exeter
New Court Chambers, London
Queen Square, Bristol
St John’s Buildings, Manchester
St John’s Chambers, Bristol
St Mary’s Chambers, Nottingham