20 years ago today, Coram Chambers was formed. It was the union of 4 Brick Court and a large family team from QEB.
Chambers mergers were still then a rarity. A senior management and merger consultant offered me a free session on the rivalry problems we would meet. She warned about the competition from the “top dogs” in each set to be the leader. When she learned that the “ top dogs” in both sets were female, she put down her pencil and laughed. “You won’t have any problems” she said.
But the devil was in the detail. In a long meeting in a stuffy room, all of the founding members met to thrash out our Constitution line by line. Ruthlessly chaired by Declan O’Dempsey and his egg timer, no contribution was allowed to exceed three minutes.
We also finally chose our new name.
Brexit negotiations were nothing to this.
Coram is now one of the largest and most prestigious family sets in the country. It is also unique in that the majority of its practitioners are women. The late Barbara Calvert QC, founder of 4 Brick Court, and the first woman head of chambers in the country, would have been very proud of her legacy.
– Martha Cover, Joint Head of Chambers