Manchester merger sparks bid to dominate North

Manchester chambers St Johns Buildings has merged with Chester’s White Friars Chambers in a bid to become the largest set in the North of England.

The union between 110-member St Johns and White Friars takes the barrister count up to 140. This places the set third behind rival super-sets Birmingham-based St Philips and No5 Chambers, which both have more than 170 barristers.

Chris Ronan, St Johns clerking chief, said the merger was a logical continuation of the set’s strategy of expanding into major cities in the North West.

“Our mergers in Chester and Preston signal our intention to become a first-choice legal provider and the largest chambers in the North,” said Ronan. “We believe that a large multidisciplinary set with high-quality specialist counsel will prosper and benefit from economies of scale.”