Cornerstone Barristers

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

Cornerstone Barristers is 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 chambers enjoys a strong reputation in common and commercial law,[3] as well as the social housing sector. members of chambers are best known for their work with local authorities, though they represent both providers and consumers.[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.
  • Anthony 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. 


  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?

External links[edit]