Cornerstone Barristers

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Cornerstone Barristers
Founded 1880
Founder(s) Sir Charles Hall
Headquarters Gray's Inn, London

Cornerstone Barristers are a set of barristers who specialise in social housing law, planning, common and commercial law.


Cornerstone Barristers was formed in 1880 by Sir Charles Hall as 2-3 Gray's Inn Square.[citation needed] Sir Graham Eyre QC was the Head of Chambers, before being succeeded by Anthony Scrivener QC in 1992.[citation needed]

In 1999, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided to cull its panel of prosecuting chambers, resulting in more than 30 barristers moving out of 11 sets. 2-3 Gray's Inn Square lost practice manager Paul Simpson and senior clerk Bill Harris. Gray's Inn Square said they had been asked to be taken off the list prior to the cutbacks.[1]

In the early 2000s, Gray's Inn Square grew steadily. From 2001 - 2006 Anthony Porten QC led the firm as its head of chambers. During this time the organization grew its expertise in housing and licensing.[2] Revenues grew from £9.7m to £10.6m from 2004 - 2006 alone. The following year the chambers lost three members, but revenue per barrister and overall revenue continued to grow.[3] In 2006, planning specialist Mark Lowe QC was elected as its new head of chambers in a move to help the firm modernize and grow. Lowe's goals were to streamline the civil set and attract more members.[2]

In December, 2011 2-3 Gray's Inn Square was renamed to Cornerstone Barristers.[4]

Notable cases[edit]

In 2005, the co-head of chambers Anthony Scivener QC appeared before the house of lords on behalf of air passengers claiming airlines had caused deep vein thrombosis.[3]


Cornerstone Barristers is highly regarded, in particular in the social housing sector and for the strength of its juniors.[5] Legal Week recognized many of Cornerstone's juniors among a list of rising stars in 2005.[6] Many of Corerstone's lawyer's are among the top-rated silks as well.[7] It was first recognized by the Lawyer's Bar Top 30 in 2004, when it had only £9.7m in revenue. The firm enjoys a strong reputation in common and commercial law,[3] as well as the social housing sector. The firm has is best known for their work with local authorities, though they represent both providers and consumers. The set's clerks are known for being affable, approachable and efficient. Many of its members are well-known and reputable in their own right.[5]

Notable members[edit]

  • Planner, Sir Graham Eyre QC, was knighted for taking on the job of Inspector for the London Airports Inquiry from 1981 to 1984.
  • Tony Hidden QC and David Penry-Davey QC were made High Court Judges 1989 and 1994 respectively.
  • Anthony Scrivener QC, head of chambers[7]
  • Anthony Porten QC[7]
  • Tim Straker[8]
  • Anthony Scrivener QC served at the bar for 36 years.
  • Malcolm Spence QC left chambers at Christmas 2011, having served 53 years.
  • Sir Charles Hall was first Head of Chambers. He was Attorney-General to King Edward VII, then Prince of Wales.

Legal Associations[edit]

  • Many barristers are founding members of the Social Housing Law Association.[9]
  • Jenny Oscroft is a council member of a consumer rights organization called Which?[10]

Further reading[edit]

  • Spence, Malcolm (2005). The Chambers of Marshall Hall:125 Years. UK: Aeneas Press. ISBN 1-902115-48-1. 

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Matheu, Swallow (January 11, 1999). "Top duo leaves 2 Gray's Inn Square". The Lawyer. Retrieved June 24, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Harris, Joanne (July 17, 2006). "2-3 Gray's Inn Square appoints new head". The Lawyer. Retrieved June 24, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Harris, Joanne (May 8, 2006). "Revenue up at 2-3 Gray's Inn Square as set enjoys 'solid year'". The Lawyer. Retrieved June 24, 2012. 
  4. ^ "2-3 Gray's Inn Square becomes Cornerstone Barristers" (Press release). Cornerstone Barristers. December 16, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Social Housing: London". Chambers & Partners. Retrieved June 24, 2012. 
  6. ^ Thornton, Ed (June 9, 2005). "Property & Planning: The master builders". Legal Week. 
  7. ^ a b c "Leaders of the major league...". The Lawyer. November 18, 1997. 
  8. ^ Fitzmaurice, Guy (September 6, 1994). "Counsel for the councils". The Lawyer. pp. Vol.8, No.34; Pg.15. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Which?