King's Bench set names head of chambers and first manager

One King's Bench Walk, the premier family and white-collar crime set, is appointing a new head of chambers and its first practice manager.

James Townend QC is stepping down after 17 years at the helm and will be replaced by Anthony Hacking QC, the highly-regarded criminal fraud barrister.

Hacking prosecuted on behalf of the Serious Fraud Office in the trial of Abbas Gokal, the shipping magnate whose u800m fraud caused the collapse of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International.

It was the biggest fraud in history in monetary terms, resulting in the longest-ever sentence for a fraudster (14 years). Gokal was also ordered to pay u4.3m costs, another record.

At the time, Chris Dickson, the SFO's BCCI case controller, described the case as, “the most complex and difficult ever undertaken by the Serious Fraud Office”.

Hacking also acted for the SFO in the successful prosecutions of Polly Peck's Asil Nadir and former Asian businessman of the year, Nazmu Virani, who was implicated in the BCCI affair.

Townend will continue in practice and is remaining at One King's Bench Walk.

The set, with 45 tenants, has also appointed Lisa Pavlosky from 12 King's Bench Walk to be its practice manager.

Pavlosky, a former solicitor, will be responsible for client care, business development and marketing.

She has taken the decision to move because One King's Bench Walk offered a flexible package that will allow her to spend two days a week with her young children.

Timothy Stow QC, head of chambers at 12 King's Bench Walk, says that he was not prepared to accept Pavlosky working only part-time.

“I don't want to split the functions of administrator and practice manager. There is inevitably some overlap, and I believe it's better for one person to handle both,” he says.

One King's Bench Walk, however, has a larger administrative team that will allow Pavlosky to concentrate solely on practice management.

Pavlosky starts her new part-time role in October where she will work alongside the clerking team, which is led by David Dear.

Stow hopes to have a replacement for her in place by October.

He has also promoted John Cooper to the position of senior clerk following the departure of Tony Day earlier this year.