Gray’s Inn set Matrix has boosted its media practice with the arrival of three juniors from rival set Doughty Street Chambers.
Juniors Anthony Hudson, Guy Vassell-Adams and Ben Silverstone will join former Doughty Street silk Richard Hermer QC at Matrix on Monday (11 November).
All three have made a name for themselves in the media and information arena having been involved in the ongoing fallout from the phone hacking allegations that caused the collapse of News International’s News of the World (18 July 2011).
Hudson was called to the bar in 1996; his main area of practice is defamation and media law with a particular interest in freedom of expression and privacy. In 2008 he convinced the High Court to reveal the identity of barrister Lincoln Crawford, who was named as the recorder convicted of harassing his ex-wife and new partner. Hudson was instructed by The Times in the case (11 February 2008).
Vassall-Adams, called in 2000, has appeared in many of the leading open justice cases in recent years and is regularly called upon by national media to act in the most high profile and sensitive cases. Recently he was instructed by Guardian News and Media and the Financial Times as junior in a case over whether two Saudi prince could have their case heard in camera (10 July 2013).
Silverstone was called to the bar in 2009 sand has a particular interest in the fields of community care and education.
Hermer, who made the switch in March last year (14 March 2012), led Silverstone in a CoA dispute over whether soldiers should be guaranteed the human rights by the British government while serving abroad (19 October 2012).
Sources at the bar said their decision to join Matrix will not only be a blow to Doughty Street but also to media sets 5RB and One Brick Court, which have both monopolised cases related to the media in recent years.
Doughty Street, like many other sets with criminal divisions, is having to deal with the impact of wide-ranging legal aid cuts. Chief executive Robin Jackson wished the trio well and highlighted that the set has been rejoined by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC (30 September 2013).
For Matrix the addition will guarantee a succession plan for the media and information group, which is currently led by Hugh Tomlinson QC. He said the set was now home to four silks and eight juniors all specialising in media work.
In a statement Doughty Street said: “We understand and appreciate that movement at the bar is far more common than in former times, which is good for profession – as we have recently announced, the last year has seen more than ten established barristers, including three silks move to join Doughty Street across a range of practice areas, and many more have expressed interest.
”We are also delighted to announce the arrival yesterday of our latest “new joiner”, Keir Starmer QC, who has returned to chambers following his very successful tenure as Director of Public Prosecutions.”