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Wilberforce Chambers takes silk trio and five juniors from soon-to-be dissolved 11SB

Wilberforce Chambers has taken silks Lexa Hilliard QC, Alan Gourgey QC and Marcia Shekerdemian QC from 11 Stone Buildings (11SB) alongside five junior barristers, following the news last week that the London commercial and chancery set will dissolve on 30 October.

Lexa Hilliard QC, who currently heads 11SB, will also bring across junior barristers Tim Penny, Max Mallin, Iain Pester, Tom Robinson and Laura Newton, who have accepted offers to join the set. They will become members of chambers from 21 September 2015.

Wilberforce’s head of chambers John Martin QC said: ‘To add leading practitioners of this quality to our specialist commercial, professional liability and pensions groups supports our strategic vision to ensure the legal services we offer to our clients are of the highest quality and match the demands of an increasing specialist domestic and international market’.

The news follows yesterday’s announcement from Radcliffe Chambers that it will take on seven 11SB members including Jeremy Cousins QC, Gary Lidington, Tina Kyriakides, Adam Deacock, Christopher Boardman, Reuben Comiskey and Dawn McCambley.

Hilliard QC confirmed to Legal Business this month that the members of 11SB ‘decided their differing practice interests will be better served in various chambers more suited to their specific individual circumstances and areas of expertise.’

‘Members therefore, decided amicably, but with considerable regret to cease to operate as a set of chambers at 7pm on Friday 30 October 2015. Until then 11 Stone Buildings will remain fully operational as a set of chambers.’

Having been widely speculated throughout the Bar, the set is said to have agreed to dissolve on 11 September, due to a lack of confidence in chambers’ management.

Members which have already left 11SB include Charles Samek QC who returned to his previous set Littleton Chambers in May and was joined by barrister Jamie Riley. Finance disputes barrister Peter Head departed to Blackstone Chambers last July, while civil fraud barrister Ian Smith went to 33 Chancery Lane and civil fraud and insolvency barrister Philip Hinks moved to 3 Verulam Buildings in August. The set is also run by 16 support staff and clerks including chambers director Michael Couling and senior clerk Matthew Curness.