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Christmas time merger for 1 Gray’s Inn Square and Mansfield Chambers

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Media heavyweights collide as Charlotte Proudman’s former set joins forces with Barbara Hewson’s

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It’s merger time over at Gray’s Inn, with 1 Gray’s Inn Square and Mansfield Chambers revealing they’re soon going to combine.

The new set will operate under Mansfield 1 Gray’s Inn Chambers, and will be located at 1 Gray’s Inn Square. Legendary 75-year-old silk Michael Mansfield QC — who has acted for the likes of the Birmingham Six, the Guildford Four and Stephen Lawrence’s family — will lead the new venture.

A spokesperson for Mansfield 1 Gray’s Inn Chambers today said:

With an overriding commitment to the rule of law, human rights and social justice, we feel chambers is very well placed now to meet modern legal needs, including those of the most vulnerable in our society.

So what do we know about the two sets?

Well, 1 Gray’s Inn Square describes itself as “one of the oldest and largest sets at the bar”. It deals with work from all sorts of practice areas including human rights, crime, international law and healthcare, plus is home to professional controversialist Barbara Hewson. The outspoken Cambridge-educated civil law barrister is well known for, among other things, her foul-mouthed Twitter rants and her contentious calls for the age of consent to be lowered to 13.

Over on the other side of the merger deal is Mansfield Chambers, the former set of ‘sexism row’ barrister Charlotte Proudman. Just last year the criminal, family and immigration law set experienced what Legal Cheek termed “the great Mansfield Chambers exodus”. In November, we revealed 14 of the legal aid chambers’ 28 tenants had — rather mysteriously — jumped ship. At the time, senior clerk Martin Parker said:

People come and go. That is the way of the bar at the moment.

Legal Cheek wishes both sets all the best with their festive merger.

57 Comments

Rzbg

You forgot to mention that half of 1GIS’ criminal barristers went to 3TG and half their PI/commercial barristers went to 3PB before all this! Not just an exodus from Mansfield…

(16)(4)

Mr Principle

Mansfield chamber according to them was built on principle and a cause. Yet it has merged with a set which counts among its member’s, Miss Hewson’s who ardently promotes the idea that it is perfectly appropriate to have sex with a 13 year old and Pupil master Mr Gile’s who believes it is perfectly acceptable to abuse his position and engage in conduct of a sexual nature towards his pupil, which the regulator found was wholly inappropriate.

Mansfield chambers knows the most useful thing about a principle that it can always be sacrificed at the alter of expediency.

(8)(12)

MMQC

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

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ABQC

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

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Outraged

Its sad you have nothing better to do on a Saturday night than post malicious comments on here.

Why don’t you scuttle off back to Shenfield with the rest of your lackies.

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Anonymous

Hi mr daily mail!

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Liberty

I totally agree. This merger clearly demonstrates that Mansfield chambers was nothing more than a cartel of self interests masquerading as principles. But, how we have been abusing the term and what horrible deeds have been justified by “Principles”. How can Mansfield1GIS chambers claim to fight for the downtrodden, the defenceless and the deprived of society, whilst at the same time residing securely within it’s bosom are people like Mr David Giles Giles. There are only a few concepts which deserve to be called principles, the rest are convenient excuses,for conceit, for self interest and for our own stubborn views of the world. Mansfield chambers have demonstrated that with it’s merger.

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truthgiver

Hang on a minute liberty, you have no idea what principles Mr David Giles holds! are you at no.5?

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The Oracle

This is not a love match but a very sober and calculated marriage of convenience. 1GIS lost its very able senior clerk and it’s best barristers to 3PB. I understand they left because they were concerned about the other barristers at the set whom they considered to be dead weight, moochers and spongers, who were sponging of their work. Those concerns were not without justification, if one looks at the barristers who are left behind, they have few if any significant reported cases or have made any significant contribution to the law. I understand that majority of these barristers tried to move to other sets but were unable to do so.
Mansfield Chambers lost most of it’s Immigration barristers to Goldsmith Chambers. It was almost inevitable that these two sets would have to merge in order to survive.

whilst there is no doubt that Michael Mansfield QC was a great and respected barrister, it is a shame that Mansfield1GIS will be his legacy. But in the festive spirit, I do wish it well.

(10)(4)

The special one

I agree with that analysis. There is no barrister of any note at the set. Michael Mansfield QC will be a giant among pygmies.
I understand from the comments that three barristers from 1GIS are applying for silk this year, good luck!

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The one and only

David Giles is one of them, he is up for barrister of the rear award too!

(0)(4)

let truth be told

The commercial barristers went to 3PB because of a misconceived attempt by the immigration barristers to turn 1GIS into a purely immigration set. They attempted to do so despite the fact that the immigration team had no silk or any junior of renown. Furthermore, the commercial team was by far the highest earner. This ill judged and ill advised attempt led to the senior clerk and the commercial barristers moving to 3PB. This caused a significant drop in revenue for 1GIS. It may be the case that Mansfield chambers were not aware of the full facts before they agreed to merged. It really was the case of greed of the few leading to downfall of the many.

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Blakey

I wish I had stayed at 1gis now but BBW made me an offer I couldn’t refuse

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Brutus

It clearly was an example of piddling, puny and pitiful immigration barristers attempt at great enterprise, thereby reducing it to their level of mediocrity and inadequacy. As Cassius said “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

(6)(3)

Liberty 2

I am disappointed that Michael Mansfield a great and well known barrister is now head of chambers that contains the likes of Barbara Hewson. I am disgusted and shocked by what Barbara Hewson advocates, in her article on spiked,her opening gambit in the article is:

“I do not support the persecution of old men. The manipulation of the rule of law by the Savile Inquisition – otherwise known as Operation Yewtree – and its attendant zealots poses a far graver threat to society than anything Jimmy Savile ever did.”

And her recommendations:

“As for law reform, now regrettably necessary, my recommendations are: remove complainant anonymity; introduce a strict statute of limitations for criminal prosecutions and civil actions; and reduce the age of consent to 13.”

So in short, Barbara Hewson wants to make it as difficult as possible for survivors to come forward, and make it as easy as possible for men to rape young people and get away with it if they don’t get caught in time. I sometimes catch myself feeling somewhat upbeat and buoyant, as though the battle against rape culture, while bloody, long and tough, will be one we can win. These fragile and delicate hopes are dashed when I see a person advocating from a position of power that the law should find new ways to silence survivors and keep them vulnerable.

(5)(3)

Anonymous

solid

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Anonymous

Are the two sets “media heavyweights” because Mansfield, Hewson and Proudman have big gobs? Seems an easy way to become a ‘heavyweight’.

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Anonymous

Michael Mansfield, Middle Class Barrister, 75 has merged his Chambers, Mansfield Chambers, with another set. The other set was called 1 Gray’s Inn Square. The new set will be called Mansfield 1 Gray’s Inn Chambers.

Establishment observers from the 1970s were asked to comment (in pretend, not really). The thread was “We were worried about Mansfield causing a stir at the time or soon after. The skill he had, the ability to cross the class divide and engage with the Police too. Would he revive a new age creed with all the money he was going to earn and capitalise on civil unrest as it unfolded in the 1980s…Or would he just earn a middle class living like the rest ?… A few of us were worried, and felt it was touch and go that he might make a move for power, so, as he reaches 75, we can relax on hearing this news, and the establishment of today can relax too. 🙂

Is that a fair comment about the legendary silk, or am I being harsh ?

(3)(7)

Dealmonkey junkie

Mansfield is a privileged chap who couldn’t quite cut it as a commercial silk so pursued the radical criminal barrister line. Highgate school back then meant Oxbridge, but the old boy ended up at Keele. From that mediocrity he carved a niche as protector of the so called weak, which was his way to stay relevant. He is certainly nothing special.

(14)(14)

Anonymous

Never done the job, have you monkey.

(3)(4)

Michael Martin

I had the privilege of being his clerk for a few years in the early days. And it was a privelage. I clerked quite a few able barristers at Cloisters and he was one of them. As far as commercial work I think that opinion comes from la la land. Regarding his ability that is subjective. His practice over the years suggests that he has had a substantial amount of admirers and continues to do so I am told. I can certainly say he had no privelages at Cloisters when he was there. He worked for whatever came his way. I don’t think he has said that he is special very few barristers are !

(14)(1)

Maddog

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(10)(7)

Anonymous

Pathetic.

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The real maddog

Agreed.

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truthgiver

As a correction, David Giles was found guilty by BSB of engaging in “conduct of a sexual nature towards his pupil, which was wholly inappropriate”. This was over a year ago, people should let go.

(1)(10)

Winter of discontent

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

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Anonymous

… I don’t think Wildish was ever going to be pushed – nor was their commercial silk who presumably wanted to move anyway independent of their clerk

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Well informed

HA! That’s a good one.

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Anonymous

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Great GATTsby

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Gray's Inn Caterers

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Big Dave

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Big Wild Wildish

At 1 GIS, I had a civil team that specialised in small claims, an employment barrister who had not argued a case since his moot days at Bar School and an immigration team that had not heard of the High Court.Yyou blame me for leaving!

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Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(6)(1)

Anonymous

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Big Dave

I agree with Big Wild Wildish, you can’t make gold from saw dust.

(8)(1)

The "Unofficial" King

What you’re both failing to realise is that it’s all about panning for gold. Drilling for oil. With a little perseverance you will find what you seek.

Just look at me. From humble backgrounds to one of the country’s leading and most sought after barristers.

(5)(3)

Soon to be QC

Well said. I am proud to have you as my colleague at 1GIS and now Mansfield1GIS. You are an inspiration for all of us. indeed, your talent has been recognised by legal 500, you are highly experienced and you have broken barriers in the field of immigration law. No doubt your appointment to silk is imminent. That is the kind of talent we have at this set.

Three cheers for Mansfield1GIS!

(5)(4)

The "Unofficial" King

I think you have me confused ‘Soon to be QC’.

I am no immigration practitioner. I am to be found using my unique agility, ability and dexterity in the Commercial Court, Chancery Division and Crown Court. I will leave the ferocious battlefield of the immigration tribunal to those exceptional advocates at 1GIS who are cut out for it.

(1)(1)

Soon to be QC

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

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The "Unofficial" King

Oh how you taunt me Soon to be QC. We both know I ran when the long arm of the law was closing in. I can only dream of one day being able to return to this great set. Any news on my amnesty?

As you know, I have a fearsome and unparalleled record of wins in seemingly hopeless cases. I will work tirelessly to fix the dishonourable mistakes of my past. Where should I send the cheque? Mine have a nasty habit of going missing you see, but I will make sure to send this one recorded delivery.

(5)(1)

GREAT 1GIS

We have three barristers who will be applying for silk this year.

(3)(3)

Lord of Paper Buildings

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(1)(2)

Private Investigator

who was the female pupil? is she still at 1GIS?

(1)(4)

Rejoicing Buddha

I am dismayed at these comments Legal cheek, let peace reign at this festive time and close down this thread. The old boys from No.5 and 3PB need to see the light.

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Fearless

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

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letitgo

Well all these nasty little comments certainly give an indication of the character of many who left these chambers.

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Rumpole Harvey

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

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Askme Fukita

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pupil master

you are more than welcome to do work experience at our set, please send your CV and full size photograph of yourself. We will pass it on to David Giles for his consideration. Please do not make disparaging remarks of our head of chambers.

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Head of knobs @ No.5

Let me put it on the record that we are very proud of our recent recruits from 1gis and most of the members have more than a sneaking admiration for their profiles. They are the leading barristers in the country and their earnings and contacts attest to that. In fact one our most recent recruits tells me he is an expert in the law of slander and that readers should expect that to show up on his profile some time soon. I have been asked to discipline but we don’t do things that way here

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ASKME FUKITA

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(0)(0)

The fat controller

The Mansfield subjugation of 1 Gray’s Inn Square happened because 1 Gray’s Inn Square was in grave and dire financial straits due to mismanagement.

This whipped jackal, the comptroller of 1 Gray’s Inn Square , who to save his own skin has made 1 Gray’s Inn Square a vassal of Mansfield, frisking up at the side of the Mansfield tiger with yelpings not only of appetite – that can be understood – but even of triumph.

(3)(1)

Atilla the Hun

A lardy toady, who is feeding a ravenous Mansfield crocodile hoping it will eat him last!

(3)(1)

The "Unofficial" King

All I know is those “dire financial straits” had absolutely nothing to do with my unofficials.

Honest.

(2)(0)

Truthgiver

Couldn’t have said it better if I had written it

(1)(0)

The Chambers for Homeless Counsel

The demise of Tooks lead to the creation of a Mansfield Chambers. However Mansfield Chambers was not a real set of chambers; after all no one ever even answered the phone! The reality was that Mansfield and his clerk Martin set up this virtual chambers to help those counsel that were no good enough to find a new home and to keep Martin in work relying on Mansfield’s big name.

Those homeless Mansfield practitioners have now merged with 1 Grays Inn Square, which is a chambers full of many rather hopeless barristers who know they are in financial trouble and want to jump ship but cant because they too are not good enough to find a new home.

So Mansfield 1 Grays Inn is born.

In it’s very name is an address that doesn’t exist.

How apt for barristers that cant find a home.

Would you want to be counsel at this set? Would you want to instruct this set? Will this chambers thrive? No no no.

(1)(1)

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