Mass exodus from 4-5 Gray's Inn Square

Two dozen legal experts, including planning and environmental silk Peter Village, are leaving barristers 4-5 Gray's Inn Square to join Thirty Nine Essex Street Chambers.

The mass move follows months of negotiation.

Earlier this month 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square lost several planning barristers to Landmark Chambers.

David Barnes, chief executive and director of clerking at Thirty Nine Essex Street, said that while the chambers already had a good planning team, the latest development represented a "game changer" for its offer.

The 24-strong team moving from 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square includes seven QCs and will take Nine Essex Street's roster of barristers to 118.

Among the QCs moving that are known for their planning work are Village, who took the "Planning and Environment Silk of the Year" in the same Chambers Bar awards, Brian Ash, Tom Hill, John Steel and Paul Stinchcombe.

Also moving are juniors James Strachan and Andrew Tabachnic.

Village told Planning that the move would consolidate a great deal of talent.

"It’s a fantastic opportunity to come together with the planning and environment team at Thirty Nine Essex Street, which is pre-eminent in the environment field," he said.

"It gives us an opportunity to strengthen their already strong planning side - we’re delighted to be doing this."

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