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Mass exodus at Mansfield 1 Gray’s Inn Square as 20 barristers join Goldsmith Chambers

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Exclusive: Just eight months after merger deal

Twenty Mansfield 1 Gray’s Inn Square (Mansfield 1GIS) barristers have made a dramatic collective journey across legal London to Goldsmith Chambers.

The barristers have call dates ranging between 1979 and 2014, and will officially join the Temple-based multi-disciplinary set as tenants on 1 September. Goldsmith said that it looked forward to welcoming the new recruits and that they will “make a strong and positive contribution” to chambers life.

Legal Cheek can reveal that with 20 lawyers waving bye-bye to Mansfield 1GIS for Goldsmith, just 18 non-silks appear to be staying put. That’s 47%, meaning more than half of its junior talent are Goldsmith bound. All 38 barristers remain listed on 1GIS’s website, for now.

The mass exodus comes just eight months after 1 Gray’s Inn Square and Mansfield Chambers combined to create Mansfield 1GIS. Legal Cheek reported at the time that celebrated silk Michael Mansfield QC — who has acted for the likes of the Birmingham Six and Stephen Lawrence’s family — would lead the new venture.

It’s been a tough run for the legendary Mansfield as a chambers boss.

In November 2015, we revealed that half (14 out of 28) of the tenants of Mansfield 1GIS legacy set Mansfield Chambers had packed up and left. The vast majority, including ‘sexism row’ barrister Charlotte Proudman, opted to join Goldsmith, in a forerunner to these latest departures. In 2013, following months of speculation, Tooks Chambers — again headed up by Mansfield — announced it was winding up its operations. A statement at the time cited changes to “government policies and legal aid” for its dissolution.

Mansfield 1GIS did not respond to Legal Cheek’s requests for comment, while Goldsmith Chambers declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding its new arrivals.

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