Two commercial chambers announce plans to merge
Commercial chambers 3 Stone Buildings is set to merge with chancery and commercial set 13 Old Square at the beginning of April.
The merger comes after a raft of departures from 3 Stone Buildings, with the number of barristers at the set almost halving since October. There are now 16 barristers at the chambers, compared to 29 barristers listed there in the latest Chambers & Partners.
In the last month the head of the chambers Andrew Twigger QC has left to join Maitland Chambers, James Weale, Richard Wilson QC and Constance McDonnell have moved to Serle Court and Peter Crampin QC and Oliver Hilton have joined Radcliffe Chambers.
Meanwhile, Norman Palmer QC, Luke Harris, Edward Hewitt and Harry Martin joined 5 Stone Buildings at the start of the month.
The merger comes after months of speculation at the bar about the future of 3 Stone Buildings, which was reportedly in talks with a number of different sets.
It also comes at a difficult time for the commercial bar after 11 Stone Buildings closed last September, prompting a number of practitioners to predict that this year a number of commercial sets would either merge or vote to dissolve.
The head of chambers at the new set will be John McDonnell QC, who is currently the head of chambers at 13 Old Square.
Justin Brown, the senior clerk at 13 Old Square, who will be senior clerk at the new set, confirmed the merger. He added: ‘We have exciting plans for the future and look forward to revealing them very shortly. For now, it’s a case of watch this space.’