Two barristers’ chambers have agreed a merger, in a rare move for the U.K.’s bar.
1 Chancery Lane and 9 Gough Chambers will combine to form 5 Norwich Street, the sets said in a joint statement on Monday, with the merger expected to complete this Autumn.
The move will see the members and staff of 1 Chancery Lane join those at 9 Gough Chambers in their existing premises at 5 Norwich Street.
5 Norwich Street will consist of over 120 barristers, including 14 Silks. Jacob Levy QC and Simon Readhead QC will act as joint heads of chambers.
Both sets excel in public law and regulatory matters, having represented national and local law firms and public bodies such as the Crown Prosecution Service, the Serious Fraud Office and local authorities.
Readhead said in a statement: “We look forward to the new and exciting opportunities that combining the very best of both Chambers will bring for our clients and for our barristers and staff.
“This merger is built on shared ambitions and values. By bringing together our specialist expertise and experience, we aim to enhance the quality of the service that we offer to our existing clients and to expand and develop the large range of practice areas in which barristers in both Chambers are already widely recognised as pre-eminent in their fields. Our objective is to strengthen still further our position as a leading Chambers in all these practice areas.”
It is a rare move for a part of the legal industry that rarely experiences change of this magnitude. In 2019, media and defamation chambers One Brick Court closed after anticipating “difficulties” in the near future.
Levy added: “A merger between our two Chambers – 9GC and 1CL – is both exciting and innovative. We’ve long been admirers of each other and the prospect of increasing our overall bench strength is hugely appealing to both of us. We consider that the already excellent service we offer our clients; the range, depth of knowledge and skilled counsel available – would only see an enhancement by a merger of our two sets.”