St Philip's rejigs hiring process

St Philip's Chambers, the largest set in the country, is reforming its constitution to streamline the process by which new tenants are recruited.

The reform, approved by the set's management board last week, will reduce the time it takes to appoint a member to chambers from three months to as little as one week.

The move highlights the increased mobility of the Bar and the determination of leading sets to develop along corporate lines.

Instead of having to secure the support of all members of chambers at a specially convened meeting before approving any new appointment, applications will be made to the head of the relevant practice group who will then sound opinion from his team. If these are positive he will present the application to the nine-strong management board.

The board, which is made up of the chief executive, the head and deputy heads of chambers and the six practice group heads, can then approve or reject the appointment.

Reform at the chambers – judged The Lawyer 1999 chambers of the year – is also being considered in other areas.

“We're looking at financing issues, budgeting issues and how we allocate costs,” says chief executive Vincent Denham.

Denham wants to make “small business units” out of the different practice groups, saying that it is very difficult to assess how profitable each group is.

Tenants Patrick McCahill QC and James Corbett QC have become associate tenants at 10 Park Square in Leeds.