The first chambers director of Fountain Court said drawing up a business plan would be his first major assignment when he joins the leading commercial set next month.

As predicted by The Lawyer on 1 April, Ric Martin, the current partnership secretary at law firm Masons, is Fountain Court's choice to fill its new practice management role.

Martin, who takes up the post on 6 May, will enjoy the official title of "chambers director" and be responsible for all aspects of chambers clerking, administration, marketing and practice development.

Martin said that he had been closely following the mixed fortunes of practice directors at the Bar, and had jumped at the chance to take up the challenge of joining such a prestigious set.

"They are successful because they are always looking ahead," he said of his new colleagues. "They have a tremendous profile and a sense of direction which they have not yet articulated into a business plan."

Martin was partnership secretary at Masons for eight years, and before that he practised as a solicitor and barrister in Australia. Head of chambers Peter Scott QC said he was "ideally qualified" for the post.

"We believe this is the first 'managing director' role to be created by a chambers in our field," he added.

Martin's appointment marks the latest stage of a major shake-up at the set. Last year, it hired the public relations firm Fishburn Hedges to handle its communications, then, shortly afterwards, it decided to part company with its long-standing senior clerk Barry Down.