Michael Mansfield QC joins Nexus Chambers following mass exodus at old set

Exclusive: Top silk follows tenants out the door

Michael Mansfield QC has become Nexus Chambers’ new head honcho just weeks after a 20-strong group of barristers left his old set.

Until recently, the popular silk — who has acted for the likes of the Birmingham Six and Stephen Lawrence’s family — was head of Mansfield 1 Gray’s Inn Square (1GIS). Less than a year old, the multi-disciplinary set was the result of a Christmas time tie-up between 1 Gray’s Inn Square and Mansfield Chambers.

However, just last month Legal Cheek revealed that 20 1GIS barristers had packed up their wigs and gowns and joined Goldsmith Chambers. The group officially began their tenancies at the Temple-based set last week. 1GIS didn’t respond to our requests for comment at the time.

Several weeks on, Mansfield has now popped up as the new head of Nexus Chambers. A spokesperson for Nexus has told Legal Cheek that Mansfield resigned from 1GIS at the beginning of August. He is joined at Nexus — now called ‘Nexus the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC’ — by ex-1GIS advocates Sam Stein QC, Brian Richardson and Andrew Jefferies QC. These three barristers and Mansfield remain listed on 1GIS’s website.  

Commenting on the move, Mansfield said he felt like he was “returning home”. He said:

I am excited to be leading a chambers which, whilst forward looking and embracing the challenges that are facing the bar today, retains all that is good in a set of chambers, a passion for the law, an emphasis on democratic collective working, a real commitment to diversity, social justice and human rights. It indeed feels like I am returning home.

Mansfield, who took silk in 1989 and was elected as a bencher of Gray’s Inn in 2007, hasn’t had the smoothest of runs as a chambers boss.

In 2015, we brought you the news that half of the tenants (14 out of 28) at 1GIS’ legacy set, Mansfield Chambers, had upped sticks and left. The lion’s share, including ‘sexism row’ barrister Charlotte Proudman, opted to join Goldsmith. In 2013, Tooks Chambers — again headed up by Mansfield — confirmed it was closing its doors citing “devastating” cuts to legal aid funding.

1GIS did not respond to Legal Cheek’s request for comment.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek’s careers events, sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub.