Barrister David Berkley, of newly-opened Manchester set Merchant Chambers, has said that specialisation need not be the preserve of London chambers.

Merchant Chambers, which opened its doors on 4 November, will focus on serving the business and banking communities and offer a greater degree of specialisation than existing Manchester common law sets.

"We're trying to send a message that there is room for specialisation on the northern circuit," said Berkley.

The new chambers was formed by former Hollins Chambers barristers Berkley, Stephen Cogley and David Feetham. They are joined by Andrew Noble, from New Bailey Chambers in Preston.

Operating out of central offices in North Parade, the four, along with chambers administrator Alastair Campbell, will be working to win back northern work from London chambers as well as doing some work in the South.