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‘Costs disputes is a growth area’: Thirty Nine Essex Street appoints former Senior Costs Judge

Leading set Thirty Nine Essex Street has yesterday (26 November) announced a major appointment, with Peter Hurst, former Senior Costs Judge of England and Wales at the Royal Courts of Justice, joining as an arbitrator and mediator.

Appointed as Senior Costs Judge in 1992, Hurst held the role until his retirement in September. Since stepping down, he has been instructed in a number of roles as mediator and arbitrator and will now focus on both with respect to costs matters in the UK and internationally at Thirty Nine Essex Street. He will practice from the set with immediate effect.

Hurst is lauded for playing an integral role in Lord Jackson’s highly-publicised costs review where, in his role as an assessor, he travelled to several overseas jurisdictions and was involved in the implementation process with Lord Justice Jackson and Justice Ramsay. He also worked closely with Lord Woolf on the Access to Justice Reforms.

His judicial career spans over thirty years, and previous roles also include the post of Judicial Taxing Officer of the House of Lords from 2002 until 2009.

Chief executive and clerking director David Barnes said: ‘We are thrilled that Peter is joining us. Mediation and arbitration in costs disputes is a growth area both domestically and abroad and Peter’s vast experience as the country’s former Senior Costs Judge will greatly enhance Thirty Nine Essex Street’s offering in this area.’

On his appointment, Hurst added: ‘I am delighted to be joining such a prestigious set as Thirty Nine Essex Street and very much look forward to a close association with them.’

Further expansion by the set this year includes securing a trophy tenant with the arrival of former legal director of Royal Dutch Shell and heavyweight arbitration specialist Peter Rees QC; as well as the opening of its Kuala Lumpur office in October, becoming the first set to do so in Malaysia.