Set’s priority to find new homes for in-coming pupil and current first-sixer, but mini-pupillage applicants to be disappointed.
Renaissance Chambers has pledged to ensure that its two baby barristers endure minimal disruption to their fledgling careers after its members voted to dissolve the set.
The legal aid chambers has been left stricken after its 13 strong immigration team dramatically quit to join Mansfield Chambers, the outfit formed last year from the ashes of Tooks by big name silk Michael Mansfield QC. A further 12 barristers quit the set last year for other destinations.
With just 28 barristers remaining (all of whom specialise in family law), and the lease of Renaissance’s premises in Gray’s Inn up for renewal at the end of next month, it was decided to end the set in its current form.
Insiders say the decision to dissolve hasn’t yet been definitively sealed, although they concede that it is “very likely”, adding that “we may mutate” into what would effectively be Renaissance 2 — a specialist family set housed in a smaller building.
Currently Renaissance has one pupil, who will have completed her first six by the time of the dissolution next month. At which point she is expected to join Mansfield Chambers.
It is understood that there is a further pupil due to join Renaissance in autumn. A spokesperson from the set told Legal Cheek that it is “making endeavours to ensure that those to whom we have already committed are looked after.”
The spokesperson added that Bar hopefuls who had submitted applications for mini-pupillages had been informed that no work experience would now be available.
Renaissance Chambers is the second well-known set to dissolve in recent months, with the aforementioned Tooks folding in September. Both chambers cited the legal aid cuts as the main reason behind their failure.
Formed in 1989 as Gray’s Inn Chambers, Renaissance — which specialises in family, immigration and human rights — took on its current name in 2001 following its merger with 1 Gray’s Inn Square. In addition to its 28 members, Renaissance has five clerks and a practice manager.