Senior clerk quits 3 Verulam Buildings

Premier insolvency set 3-4 South Square is poaching senior clerk Paul Cooklin from rival commercial chambers 3 Verulam Buildings.

His departure will be a major blow to the set, which is currently knocking on the door of the magic circle of commercial chambers.

Cooklin is one of the few “traditional” senior clerks who is rated as a leading player in the commercial field.

He was employed as joint senior clerk with Roger Merry-Price but was primarily responsible for practice development, a role more recently associated with chambers directors and chief executives.

No decision has yet been made on whether a replacement for Cooklin, who spent 14 years at the set, will be appointed.

Cooklin, who describes the move as a promotion, says: “I really believe that the traditional senior clerk still has, and will continue to have, a crucial role to play in managing and running a barristers' set of chambers.”

3-4 South Square has spent a tortuous seven months trying to find a replacement for current senior clerk Jason Pithers, who is leaving the profession after spending 15 years at the chambers.

He is moving to the US where he intends to take a sabbatical before venturing into real estate or a marketing role within a US law firm.

Pithers is leaving the country on 15 December but will return to the UK for a two week handover in January.