Devereux Chambers is considering whether to implement an administrative overhaul after chief executive Beverly Landais tendered her resignation.
Landais joined chambers in 2009 as its first chief executive as the set embarked on a period of change (21 May 2009). She was brought in from Baker & McKenzie where she was director of marketing and business development.
Her appointment came as a number of sets considered whether to install chief executives to drive though commercialisation at the bar. Landais was appointed as both Quadrant Chambers (1 June 2009) and St Philips created chief executive positions (15 June 2009).
At the same time Hardwicke hired Amanda Illing from Matrix to drive through a structural change, a move that coincided with the exits of then senior clerks Danny O’Brien and Kevin Mitchell (21 September 2009).
Landais’ remit at Devereux included rebranding the set and assisting with an internal restructure that included the appointment of Vince Plant as senior clerk. Plant joined chambers in 2010 from Fountain Court where he was deputy senior clerk (7 September 2010). She also worked alongside head of chambers Ingrid Simler QC, who was voted into the top position in 2012, succeeding long-standing head Colin Edelman QC (10 January 2012).
Landais is leaving law after 15 years in the profession to take up a position as marketing and business development director for financial advisors Saunderson House.
She said after helping chambers change the way it worked as well as pushing through a complete refurbishment of the Devereux building it was “time to move on”.
When she arrived in 2009, she said, “chambers was doing some great work but it wasn’t being communicated”. The set now has a communications strategy and has significantly raised its profile.
To others stepping into the chief executive role with chambers her advice included being able to listen well as well as taking a keen interest in what the clerking function involves. “One of the things that has helped me is being interested in what keeps people ticking,” she said.
She added that Devereux was considering whether it was necessary to continue with a chief executive role alongside the senior clerk position going forward. Landais will leave the set at the end of November.