High-profile human rights and civil liberties set Tooks Chambers has announced it is to dissolve, blaming the government’s legal aid cuts for its demise.
The set, led by Michael Mansfield QC, posted a release on its website this morning, stating: ‘It is with great regret that Tooks Chambers has decided to begin the process of dissolution.’
The statement said: ‘The dissolution of chambers is the direct result of government policies on legal aid.
‘The public service we provide is dependent on public funding. 90% of our work is publicly funded. The government policies led by justice secretary Chris Grayling are cumulatively devastating the provision of legal services and threatening the rule of law.’
Rumours over the demise of the set have been widespread since a number of high-profile members departed for other sets.
The statement said Mansfield (pictured) and others are ‘actively pursuing’ the possibility of ‘reconfiguring resources’ in order to create an ‘alternative working model’ based on an ‘electronic hub and a compact physical space’.
It said its plans are designed particularly ‘to support publicly funded practitioners who are committed to continuing the struggle for social justice both inside and outside the courts.’
The statement said that the set will formally dissolve on 27 December, but that it will continue to accept briefs until it winds up its operations on 11 October.
Individual barristers will continue to practise and to represent their clients, and will be making arrangements fso that the interests of their clients will not be affected.
Tooks Chambers, founded in 1984, has been involved in high-profile cases, including those of the Birmingham Six, representing the family of Stephen Lawrence, the inquest into the Hillsborough disaster and the current inquest into the death of Mark Duggan.
It has 55 members, including five silks.
Earlier this year, Leonie Hirst won the legal aid newcomer barrister award at the Legal Aid Practitioner Group’s legal aid lawyer of the year awards.