Tenancy & Recruitment

In recent years, a number of high quality practitioners – both silks and juniors – have joined Exchange Chambers from other leading sets. We are currently inviting applications from barristers across ALL locations, practice areas and levels of seniority.

  • Exchange Chambers is committed to an ongoing expansion programme across the Northern and North Eastern circuits.
  • With over 160 members, we are one of the largest full service Chambers in the country. Recent Presiding Judges for the Northern and North Eastern circuits have been members of Exchange Chambers.
  • We provide our members with outstanding practice development support tailored to individual aspirations – whether it is developing better quality work, increasing earnings, applying for judicial appointments or taking Silk.
  • Record financial performance (year-end turnover of £28.7 million) is fuelling our growth.
  • Members’ contributions are highly competitive (around 12% on average) while flexible contributions are also available and can be tailored to the individual (single office, multi-occupancy and hot-desking are all available).
  • Comments in Chambers UK and Legal 500 include “Northern Powerhouse”, “Regional Heavyweight”, “Highly Acclaimed”, “Renowned”, “Highly Commercial” and “Top-Notch”.

A move to Exchange Chambers could transform your practice.

To apply, or for further information, please contact Tom Handley (Chambers Director) in the strictest confidence.

 

They’ve made the exchange. Why don’t you?

 

Read about some of our members’ experiences below and how joining Exchange Chambers has made a difference to their practice.

Chris Tehrani QC

Year of call
1990.

Year you joined Exchange Chambers
2014.

Where you joined from
New Park Court Chambers, Leeds.

Area(s) of law you specialise in
Crime and regulatory law, specialising in medical regulatory work.

What attracted you to Exchange Chambers?
Its reputation, the organisation, the breadth of expertise in chambers, the quality of the administration and Tom Handley’s (Director of Chambers) reputation.

Has the reality matched your expectations?
More than!

How has your practice developed and improved since joining Chambers?
Yes – beyond anything I expected.

If you had to pick three words to describe Chambers to a potential new member, what would they be?
Forward-thinking, efficient, friendly.

Benjamin Myers QC

Year of call
1994.

Year you joined Exchange Chambers
2010.

Where you joined from
A smaller set in Manchester

Area(s) of law you specialise in
Criminal law, human rights.

What attracted you to Exchange Chambers?
Exchange Chambers is large and multi-disciplinary, making it a chambers that provides opportunity and security. It is keenly aware of the needs of its client base and seeks to expand this client base, which is crucial. However, notwithstanding it size, Exchange provides close support to members on an individual basis. I appreciated these aspects of chambers from my familiarity with it and its members over the years.

Has the reality matched your expectations?
Totally.

How has your practice developed and improved since joining Chambers?
Yes. I have taken Silk.

If you had to pick three words to describe Chambers to a potential new member, what would they be?
Opportunity, development, reward.

Paul Kirtley

Year of call
1982.

Year you joined Exchange Chambers
2010.

Where you joined from
New Park Court Chambers, Leeds.

Area(s) of law you specialise in
Personal Injury, Clinical Negligence, Employment, Regulatory and Mediation.

What attracted you to Exchange Chambers?
The opportunity to work with like-minded people while helping to expand and develop our presence in Leeds.

Has the reality matched your expectations?
Absolutely. It has been a fantastic journey of development and discovery.

How has your practice developed and improved since joining Chambers?
My practice has continued to develop and I have had the opportunity to work with some of the best practitioners on the Circuit.

If you had to pick three words to describe Chambers to a potential new member, what would they be?
Excellence, Excellence, excellence.

David Knifton

Year of call

1986.

Year you joined Exchange Chambers

2006.

Where you joined from

Harrington Street.

Area(s) of law you specialise in

Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence.

What attracted you to Exchange Chambers?

I have specialised in personal injury and clinical negligence for many years, but felt my practice at 7HS was not progressing. In particular, whilst there were numerous personal injury practitioners, there was little sense of operating as a team, and the aim seemed to be to maximise the volume of work in chambers, rather than improve its quality. Exchange Chambers, by contrast, has a well-established personal injury team, led by silks with vast experience in that field, and with a proven record of career development for talented barristers.

Has the reality matched your expectations?

Absolutely. In reality, it has exceeded them.

How has your practice developed and improved since joining Chambers?

The quality of my practice has been transformed. Within weeks of joining, I had been instructed in a catastrophic brain injury case arising from an accident in the Isle of Man, which eventually settled for over £5m. I was rapidly able to return lower-value claims and to concentrate on high-value, multi-track work. The senior clerking team provided excellent advice on practice development, with the opportunity for regular reviews when required. There is a real sense of teamwork in Chambers, with the aim of developing work opportunities that will benefit the team as a whole, rather than individuals competing against each other. Invaluable guidance on undertaking catastrophic injury cases has been provided by experienced personal injury silks, with introductions to some of the country’s leading personal injury firms. I now only undertake cases with a minimum value of £250,000, and have been involved in settling no fewer than 25 cases with a value in excess of £1m in the last 7 years. My reputation has been enhanced enormously, and I have been recommended in the leading directories for several years. In the last 3 years, I have assisted claimants to recover damages totalling over £76m. I am now an established part of a team with a national reputation in PI work. Such a practice would have been unimaginable in my previous chambers.

If you had to pick three words to describe Chambers to a potential new member, what would they be?

Quality, reputation, teamwork.

John Wyn Williams

Year of call

1992.

Year you joined Exchange Chambers

2014.

Where you joined from

Linenhall Chambers, Chester.

Area(s) of law you specialise in

Criminal Law and Environmental Law.

What attracted you to Exchange Chambers?

Its reputation for excellent clerking and business plans for the future. The Criminal Justice system is rapidly changing and I felt I needed to be in a Chambers that is well equipped to deal with those changes.

I also wanted to develop my Environmental Practice and Exchange Chambers has offered excellent opportunities to do this kind of work nationally. I have been listed in both Legal 500 and Chambers directory as a result of the hard work of the clerks.

Has the reality matched your expectations?

My expectations have been exceeded. The team of staff and other members are fantastic. It has been well worth the move.

How has your practice developed and improved since joining Chambers?

I have been involved in some exciting environmental work and we are hoping to arrange a conference for Solicitors and business users. My practice has become national overnight!

If you had to pick three words to describe Chambers to a potential new member, what would they be?

Fantastic, Professional and Friendly.

Steven Crossley

Year of call

1992.

Year you joined Exchange Chambers

2012.

Where you joined from

St Paul’s Chambers, Leeds.

Area(s) of law you specialise in

Regulatory/professional discipline/crime.

What attracted you to Exchange Chambers?

I was attracted by Chambers’ forward thinking reputation and its coverage over the three cities.

Has the reality matched your expectations?

I haven’t regretted the move for a moment.

How has your practice developed and improved since joining Chambers?

I have been given excellent support from the clerks in my efforts to develop my regulatory practice.

If you had to pick three words to describe Chambers to a potential new member, what would they be?

Dynamic, Supportive, Commercial.

Simon Whitfield

Year of call

2009 (Solicitor 1992).

Year you joined Exchange Chambers

2009.

Where you joined from

Squire Patton Boggs LLP.

Area(s) of law you specialise in

Commercial and construction in particular.

What attracted you to Exchange Chambers?

I knew people here and knew how they enjoyed life at Exchange Chambers.

Has the reality matched your expectations?

Yes! It’s hard work, but there is a direct correlation between the effort you put in and the rewards you get out.

How has your practice developed and improved since joining Chambers?

Significantly. There is quality work there if you are prepared to make the effort to get it.

If you had to pick three words to describe Chambers to a potential new member, what would they be?

Supportive, enthusiastic, fun!

Andrew Jebb

Year of call

1993.

Year you joined Exchange Chambers

2008.

Where you joined from

Nicholas Street Chambers (as it then was) in Chester.

Area(s) of law you specialise in

Crime, with a particular focus on white-collar fraud work.

What attracted you to Exchange Chambers?

It was then, and remains still, the best Chambers in the North-West. It had an excellent criminal team made up of people whom I knew and respected. It was being run as a business and clearly had a vision of where it was going, which could not be said for many Chambers at the time.

Has the reality matched your expectations?

Yes, completely. I have now been in Chambers for over 7 years. In that time I have seen Chambers continue to expand and succeed, attracting top quality work and the best new recruits.

How has your practice developed and improved since joining Chambers?

In the time I have been at Exchange Chambers I have progressed from being something of an all-round criminal practitioner to being a recognised specialist fraud practitioner. I have been ranked as one of the very few Juniors in the field of financial crime outside London in the Chambers & Partners UK Bar directory for the past 3 years. I am very proud of that but it would not have happened if I had not made the move to Exchange Chambers. This year, three of the seven ranked Juniors in this field outside London come from Chambers.

If you had to pick three words to describe Chambers to a potential new member, what would they be?

Dynamic, busy, enjoyable.

Ceri Widdett

Year of call

1994.

Year you joined Exchange Chambers

2012.

Where you joined from

Park Court Chambers, Leeds.

Area(s) of law you specialise in

Employment and Discrimination, Personal Injury and Regulatory.

What attracted you to Exchange Chambers?

The high quality of work and practitioners. Exchange Chambers is also progressive in terms of management and ethos.

Has the reality matched your expectations?

Yes, more than.

How has your practice developed and improved since joining Chambers?

My practice has changed considerably due to Chambers’ pro-active approach to practice development and the numerous opportunities that I have been given since joining. I quickly moved to more complex work in the Court of Appeal and was led Bill Braithwaite QC within a year of joining Chambers. There is no shortage of quality work and opportunity so expect to be busy.

If you had to pick three words to describe Chambers to a potential new member, what would they be?

Opportunity, excellence, support.

Andrew Williams

Year of call

1994.

Year you joined Exchange Chambers

2015.

Where you joined from

Atlantic Chambers, Liverpool.

Area(s) of law you specialise in

Property.

What attracted you to Exchange Chambers?

An ability to anticipate the way the legal market was moving and to position itself accordingly.

A successful group of property and commercial law barristers with good practices carrying out work at a high level.

The friendly and down-to-earth personalities of so many barristers here.

Steven Fennell

Year of call

2014 (Solicitor 1996).

Year you joined Exchange Chambers

2014

Where you joined from

Kennedys Law LLP.

Area(s) of law you specialise in

Insolvency and Commercial Litigation.

What attracted you to Exchange Chambers?

The quality of the other members; the efficient clerking and administration; the friendly and positive atmosphere.

Has the reality matched your expectations?

It’s been even better than I expected. The only regret I have is not making the change from being a solicitor years ago.

How has your practice developed and improved since joining Chambers?

I have been able to undertake a wider variety of insolvency, fraud and commercial disputes than I was able to do as a solicitor. I’ve been far busier since I joined than I expected.

If you had to pick three words to describe Chambers to a potential new member, what would they be?

Positive, friendly, well-managed.

Adrian Farrow

Year of call

1997.

Year you joined Exchange Chambers

2008.

Where you joined from

Peel Court Chambers, Manchester.

Area(s) of law you specialise in

Crime and Regulatory (particularly HSE).

What attracted you to Exchange Chambers?

Its reputation, former members of Peel Court had joined Exchange and spoke highly of it.

Has the reality matched your expectations?

Yes – Chambers is well-organised and run and copes well with the many challenges facing the Bar.

How has your practice developed and improved since joining Chambers?

I have been exposed to a much greater variety of work in general crime, both prosecuting and defending and my HSE work has developed entirely as a result of the contact Chambers has with the HSE and defence firms undertaking that work.

Jonathan French

Year of call

1997.

Year you joined Exchange Chambers

2010.

Where you joined from

Chancery House Chambers, a small specialist Chancery/commercial set in Leeds with approximately a dozen members.

Area(s) of law you specialise in

Commercial, insolvency, professional negligence, construction and employment.

What attracted you to Exchange Chambers?

Reputation for excellence, corporate management ethos and geographic coverage.

Has the reality matched your expectations?

Yes. I have been impressed by the support available to me in my practice from a well-run, well-resourced set and enjoy working alongside some very talented colleagues.

How has your practice developed and improved since joining Chambers?

I have gained access to new markets across the entire north of England. My solicitors have benefitted from the excellent clerking and administration resources at Exchange.

If you had to pick three words to describe Chambers to a potential new member, what would they be?

Excellence, commerciality and progressiveness.

David Fearon

Year of call
2013 (Solicitor 1997).
Year you joined Exchange Chambers

March 2014.

Where you joined from

I practiced for many years as a solicitor and solicitor advocate, and prior to joining Exchange Chambers I was an equity partner in Kennedys LLP.

Area(s) of law you specialise in
I am a commercial lawyer specialising in construction and engineering dispute resolution and non-contentious law.

What attracted you to Exchange Chambers?

Having met a number of the barristers and management from Exchange Chambers I was impressed by the professionalism and commerciality of the chambers and by the pervasive friendliness and supportive nature and ethos.

Has the reality matched your expectations?

Absolutely.

How has your practice developed and improved since joining Chambers?

In addition to the work referred to me by the professional and friendly clerks I have also been encouraged and supported in developing and growing my own network of referring legal professionals and my direct access practice. As a consequence I have seen a steady growth in my practice which I am confident will continue, based as it is on the solid foundations chambers and I have laid down since I joined.

If you had to pick three words to describe Chambers to a potential new member, what would they be?

Professional, dynamic, supportive.

Chris Barnes

Year of call

1999.

Year you joined Exchange Chambers

2004.

Where you joined from

India Buildings Chambers (now part of St John’s Buildings).

Area(s) of law you specialise in

Personal injury and clinical negligence with a speciality in military claims.

What attracted you to Exchange Chambers?

Its reputation, clerking support, and proven track record in developing high quality practices.

Has the reality matched your expectations?

Yes, and exceeded them.

How has your practice developed and improved since joining Chambers?

I’ve progressed the value and quality of work I take on, retained the relationships with my older solicitors and developed additional relationships to expand my practice further.

If you had to pick three words to describe Chambers to a potential new member, what would they be?

Friendly, ambitious, successful.

Andrew Ward

Year of call

2000.

Year you joined Exchange Chambers

2008.

Where you joined from

8 King Street Chambers, Manchester.

Area(s) of law you specialise in

Personal Injury.

What attracted you to Exchange Chambers?

Exchange Chambers attracted me because its dynamic growth in Manchester showed that it matches the traditions of the Bar with a forward-thinking and progressive commercial approach.

Has the reality matched your expectations?

Yes. I was the 100th tenant at Exchange. There are now more than 150. This growth means that Chambers has strong personal injury, commercial, criminal, family and regulatory teams with a range of barristers across all levels of call in Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds. Unlike some sets, Chambers has increased in size without diluting the quality of its membership. The growth in size has been matched by the provision of new, first-rate premises in Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds. Most importantly, Chambers has strong and cohesive clerking in each of its three offices.

How has your practice developed and improved since joining Chambers?

Prior to joining Exchange, I practised in low-value, volume personal injury work. The change in my practice is best summarised by the following quote from the Legal 500, 2015 Edition: “He focuses on high-value multi-track litigation, including amputee claims, fatal accidents and brain injuries”.

If you had to pick three words to describe Chambers to a potential new member, what would they be?

Dynamic, cohesive, progressive.

Stephen Grattage

Year of call

2000.

Year you joined Exchange Chambers

2010.

Where you joined from

Sovereign Chambers, Leeds.

Area(s) of law you specialise in

Crime and Regulatory.

What attracted you to Exchange Chambers?

Moving to Exchange Chambers was for me at that time a necessary step in building my career at the bar. At a time when the pressures on the Criminal bar in particular were starting to bite, I was attracted by a clear policy of pursuing the best criminal work, and the best of the Bar whenever possible. A recruitment policy based around excellence rather than numbers was for me the measure of a Chambers which recognised the difficulties which were to come, and was building the requisite team to face them.

Has the reality matched your expectations?

I feel privileged to be involved in work of the highest calibre, both defence and prosecution, to a degree that I have been able to continue acting predominantly in legally aided criminal work, the work which first drew me to the Criminal Bar.

How has your practice developed and improved since joining Chambers?

Since joining Chambers I have gained consistent recognition for my Fraud and Criminal work in Chambers and Partners, being ranked in both areas, and having work to reflect those rankings.

Moreover, my inclusion on the GMC’s panel of advocates, and my expanding Inquest and health and safety practices are directly the result of opportunities that Chambers has provided and nurtured with me.

It is invaluable to feel that there is a Chambers structure behind me, working jut as hard as I am, to push my career forward.

If you had to pick three words to describe Chambers to a potential new member, what would they be?

Support, excellence, focus.

Alfred Weiss

Year of call

2006.

Year you joined Exchange Chambers

2011.

Where you joined from

Zenith Chambers, Leeds.

Area(s) of law you specialise in

Employment and Discrimination, Commercial Litigation including Professional Negligence, Insolvency, Inquests, Government Litigation including Judicial Review.

What attracted you to Exchange Chambers?

The palpable sense that this was an ambitious Chambers that would provide an excellent platform for driven practitioners.

Has the reality matched your expectations?

Yes.

How has your practice developed and improved since joining Chambers?

Yes. I joined Exchange Chambers at 4/5 years call. At that stage I practised in Employment and Discrimination, Personal Injury, and Commercial Litigation. Since then I have deliberately changed the nature of my practice, being appointed to the Attorney General’s Panel, and embarked on new areas of work in Insolvency, Inquests, and Government Litigation. Whilst to some extent I would have expected the complexity of my instructions to develop anyway as I became more senior irrespective of where I was practising, I have no doubt that the current strength of my practice owes a great debt to the excellent clerking and infrastructure in Chambers and to the excellent work that it attracts as a set.

If you had to pick three words to describe Chambers to a potential new member, what would they be?

Ambitious, business-minded, successful.

Holly Betke

Year of call

2013.

Year you joined Exchange Chambers

2013.

Where you joined from

ABR Solicitors.

Area(s) of law you specialise in

Crime.

What attracted you to Exchange Chambers?

I wanted to remain based in Leeds and working in the North East Circuit however I was also aware that Manchester has perhaps more serious crime groups and a higher frequency of major crimes and so I was looking for a Chambers that had work in the Northern Circuit as well. Coming into this area of the profession I wanted to join a Chambers that would push me forward in my career and not restrict my growth until a time that might suit Chambers. This was, in my opinion, the most forward thinking Chambers and had a more modern approach to the profession which I think is necessary with the new challenges and the changing landscape of criminal law.

Has the reality matched your expectations?

In many ways it has not only matched it but exceeded it. I am carrying out work beyond that which I had hoped to be doing by this time in my career and am really enjoying the steep learning slope.

How has your practice developed and improved since joining Chambers?

I began my first CPS work since joining Exchange and that has been invaluable experience. I have the benefit of two wonderful mentors, both of whom have given me a lot of support, developing my practice and improving my skills. I am starting to increase my work in cases of sex offences which has always been an area in which I was interested in practicing. I have also had a number of cases involving youth defendants which require a different approach and their own challenges. I have been introduced to new firms and have been included in various social and Chambers led events to increase my awareness of other organisations and to raise my own profile. I have also been junior on two cases since joining Chambers, something which has been an absolute privilege as well as hard work and rewarding.

If you had to pick three words to describe Chambers to a potential new member, what would they be?

Progressive, fast-paced, supportive.

David Williams

Year of call

2014.

Where you joined from

A career in sales and marketing with a large chemical distribution company.

Area(s) of law you specialise in

Commercial and insolvency.

What attracted you to Exchange Chambers?

The number of silks and senior practitioners and the convivial atmosphere within Chambers. I was also attracted by the generous pupillage award and the opportunity to spend a lot of time ‘on my feet’ during my second six.

Has the reality matched your expectations?

Yes.

If you had to pick three words to describe Chambers to a potential new member, what would they be?

Friendly, dynamic, busy.

Rachel Webster

Year of call

2016 (qualified as a solicitor 2015).

Year you joined Exchange Chambers

2016.

Where you joined from

Lyons Davidson Solicitors.

Area of law you specialise in

Civil and personal injury.

 What attracted you to Exchange Chambers?

Its reputation for excellence, friendly members and potential for career growth and development.

Has the reality matched your expectations?

Absolutely and beyond! Moving to Exchange Chambers was the best career decision I ever made.

 How has your practice developed and improved since joining Exchange Chambers?

I have quickly developed my practice base and ventured into new areas of civil law which I previously hadn’t done.  I have made new contacts and have had the opportunity to meet and work for many amazing solicitors.  There is plenty of work, my diary is always full and there is such a great support network.

 If you had to pick three words what would they be?

Friendly, supportive, busy.