Exchange Chambers appoints new chief executive

Liverpool-based Exchange is one of the UK’s largest barristers’ chambers with close to 200 members and will now be headed by former Brabners partner Jonathan I’Anson. Tony McDonough reports

Jonathan I’Anson
Jonathan I’Anson, chief executive of Exchange Chambers


Liverpool’s Exchange Chambers has appointed Jonathan I’Anson as its new chief executive.

Exchange is one of the UK’s largest barristers’ chambers with close to 200 members. Mr I’Anson takes over the role from Tom Handley, who retired last month after 28 years with the chambers.

A solicitor and former partner at law firm Brabners, Mr I’Anson joined Exchange Chambers in 2015 as practice manager, before becoming chambers director in 2018. In the Legal 500 2020 he is described as a “superb chambers director”.

He said: “Despite the very obvious business challenges presented by COVID-19, chambers is well placed to weather the storm and come out stronger on the other side. As a full-service chambers, we have outstanding barristers and a resilient and flexible business model.

While COVID-19 is changing the way some areas of law are delivered, long-term investment in technology is enabling our members to innovate, adapt and surpass client expectations. As a result, we are continuing to receive high-quality instructions and work.”

Described as a “northern powerhouse” by the independent legal directories, Exchange Chambers has grown rapidly in recent years. Mr I’Anson added:Moving forward, we will continue to develop existing practice areas and explore new opportunities, providing clients with unparalleled levels of service and excellence.

We are committed to strengthening our position as the pre-eminent chambers in the North while continuing to champion equality, diversity and inclusion at the Bar.”

Bill Braithwaite QC, head of chambers, also said: “Jonny joined us from a major law firm more than four years ago, with a specific remit to succeed Tom Handley, our chief executive, and he has spent that time learning about our business and our clients, so he has hit the ground running.”

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