Michael Bloch QC quits Wilberforce for Blackstone Chambers

Wilberforce Chambers’ Michael Bloch QC has resigned from the set to join Blackstone Chambers just weeks after senior clerk Declan Redmond announced his exit for Keating Chambers.

The move will be a significant boost for Blackstone and will fill a commercial and arbitration gap left by former chambers head Thomas Beazley QC, who quit the bar for litigation boutique Hage Aaronson earlier this year (24 April 2013).

Bloch will move to Blackstone Chambers next week after a 13-year stint at Wilberforce Chambers, which he joined from One Essex Court (18 September 2000). 

Bloch is highly regarded for his IP expertise as well as his commercial and arbitration nous.

Most recently he was instructed for Nestlé in its successful High Court battle with Cadburys over the iconic purple colour of its Dairy Milk bars.

He was also drafted in by Harbottle & Lewis partner Mark Owen to act for Lucasfilm in its long-running IP dispute with British engineer Andrew Ainsworth over the IP rights to the stormtrooper helmets used in the original Star Wars film (7 April 2008).

Bloch acted for Lucasfilm in the High and Court of Appeal before Jonathan Sumption QC, then of Brick Court, was brought in for the Supreme Court showdown (5 January 2011).

Commenting on his exit head of chambers John Martin QC said: “We’re very sorry to see him go. He’s very competent, forceful and very able. We shall miss him.”

Bloch’s exit follows longstanding senior clerk and chief executive Declan Redmond, who departed for construction chambers Keating earlier in the month. Redmond – who has only ever clerked at Wilberforce – has been a central force at the chambers and will succeed Nick Child as Keating senior clerk from next year (7 October 2013).

His decision to join Blackstone over other leading commercial sets will be seen at the bar as a significant boost for chambers.

Bloch said:  “Blackstone was the obvious choice for me. It continues to grow stronger and stronger in areas such as arbitration, commercial, IP and off-shore litigation in which I practice. It has a great reputation as a  dynamic, innovative and classy set, and I will be proud to be part of it.”

He is the second silk to join chambers this year, following the addition of Sam Grodzinski QC who joined from Matrix in March (19 March 2013). The set also welcomed leading Indian barrister Harish Salve, whose has been a go-to advisor to the Tata Group as well as advising billionaire Lakshmi Mittal and Arcelor Mittal on top level disputes (19 July 2013).