Based in Liverpool, Exchange Chambers has 200 barristers in Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds and is reporting record annual revenues of £41m. Tony McDonough reports
Exchange Chambers is reporting record revenues of £41m for its 2021/22 financial year – 32% higher than last year’s £31m and also up on the last pre-pandemic figure of £33m.
Based in Derby Square in the city centre, Exchange has also revealed that average member earnings have increased significantly over the last two years while members’ contributions remained low at an average of 12% of individual earnings.
It has 200 members, including 24 silks across bases in Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds. This year, Lisa Linklater QC and Chris Barnes QC have both taken silk while Mark Rhind QC, Giles Maynard-Connor QC, Imran Shafi QC and David Temkin QC did likewise in 2021.
“The strong performance of the business is a credit to our outstanding barristers, clerks and staff,” said Jonathan I’Anson, chief executive at Exchange Chambers. “It has been an exceptional effort, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are seeing high quality instructions across all practice areas.
“Our expansion strategy is based on attracting the highest quality work and the highest quality barristers. This is fuelling our growth and attracting applications from barristers from all over the country.”
MrI’Anson took over as Exchange Chambers’ chief executive as the pandemic first took hold in 2020. He added: “Having previously worked as a partner in a large corporate law firm, I distinctly remember how certain businesses reacted to the challenges of the 2008 financial crash and learned some significant lessons.
“As a board, we applied those lessons to our Covid recovery plan. From the very beginning of the virus we were determined not to pull the shutters down. We stayed on the front foot in terms of plans for growth, investment in the business, marketing, business development and recruitment.
“We have focused on recruitment, bringing in a 15 strong family law team from Chavasse Chambers and a number of silks from other chambers, including Simon Gorton QC and Anesta Weekes QC.
“Indeed, we have taken on 38 new tenants since the onset of the virus two years ago. We maintained our marketing push and our training initiatives for solicitors were also scaled up with over 11,000 delegates booking on to our webinars and seminars over the last 12 months.”
Head of Chambers, Bill Braithwaite QC, said Exchange was targeting further growth across all locations and practice areas, while always being open to new opportunities. He added: “We have been proactive in responding to the changing environment by supporting our members and delivering the very highest levels of service to our clients.”