Arden Chambers, the well-known housing and local government chambers, today (1 October 2018) merged with 4–5 Gray’s Inn Square. However, a last-minute dispute over the terms of the merger with Arden Chambers’ founder and former head, Andrew Arden QC, has meant that the new outfit’s moniker will not feature his name.
As late as last week, the chambers was set to be called 4–5 Gray’s Inn Square incorporating Arden Chambers, but, according to Arden, he withdrew his permission to use the brand. In an exclusive article about his career for LAG
(by his thriller-writing alter ego, Bernard Bannerman), Arden said that while he remains on good terms with the former members of Arden Chambers, he is ‘at loggerheads’ with 4–5 Gray’s Inn Square.
Arden has been dubbed ‘the godfather of housing law’ (Chambers and Partners UK) and is a well-respected author on the subject for legal publishers including LAG. He stepped down as head of Arden Chambers when he turned 65 in 2013, but continues to practise. He stressed in comments to Legal Action today that he is not retiring and will continue to work ‘as a sole practitioner’.
In a press release from 4–5 Gray’s Inn Square
, joint head of chambers Tim Straker QC welcomed the new members joining from Arden Chambers, saying they would ‘bring strong and complementary reputations in their respective fields to enhance our existing practice base’. Former head of Arden Chambers, Andrew Dymond, confirmed that the members of chambers had moved today, adding that they ‘have been made immediately very welcome’ and that they were ‘looking forward to enjoying the benefits of being co-located with a much wider pool of practitioners’.