We were already a long established set of Criminal chambers when in 1984 Richard 'Dick' Ferguson joined us. He had become a QC in Northern Ireland in 1973 and had been made Senior Counsel in the South in 1983, but when he joined us as our Head of Chambers it was only as a junior in England and Wales, taking Silk the next year, in 1986.
He had arrived with a first class reputation as one of Ireland’s finest advocates. He then took the English Bar by storm appearing in the most highly publicised cases, representing amongst many others – McGee, the Brighton Bomber, Ernest Saunders, the Chief Executive of Guinness in the share-trade fraud and Rosemary West on multiple murder charges. He became, it was said, the most formidable advocate of his generation and under his leadership, for almost twenty-five years, Chambers grew from strength to strength.
He set about transforming Chambers. We moved to larger premises – first to a single floor at 1, Crown Office Row, then we took the whole building at 2-4 Tudor Street Finally in December 2006 we purchased our magnificent premises in Carmelite Street, on the bank of the River Thames, hard by the Temple, Blackfriars and the Central Criminal Court and took our “Corporate” name from our location – Carmelite Chambers.
As we grew in reputation so we grew in numbers and have now become one of the most sought after sets of chambers in the Country.
When Dick Ferguson died in 2009 Chambers lost one of the longest serving Heads of Chambers known to the Bar He had held that post with distinction for almost twenty-five years and died in harness.
Nigel Lambert QC was his obvious successor. He had already been Dick’s Deputy Head of Chambers for five years and in Silk for ten years. Under his dynamic leadership Chambers continued to flourish and strengthened our position as one of the leading sets in the country.
In April 2014, Charles Bott QC took over leadership of chambers. He steered chambers through a period of considerable success as our numbers and reputation grew.
In the summer of 2020, Chris Henley QC was appointed head of chambers. Our team of Silks and juniors has never been stronger. We enjoy the very best of clerking and administration; and we are rewarded by loyalty from a large number of solicitors.