A Review of 2023

Written by:

Guy Dunwoody


In the fast-paced world of legal services, we understand that excellence is not a destination but a continuous journey. Basking in the reflected glory of historic success has never been the way at St Philips, and to prove the point, 2023 has been another year of evolution as we succeeded in attaining sustainable growth by placing true expertise and client care at the heart of everything we do.

Below we highlight some of the key developments across Chambers over the past 12 months.


2023 has seen an unprecedented increase in members as our already immensely strong and diverse team has been further enhanced with the arrival of first-class incoming talent.  

New tenants who joined us in 2023 are:

2023 new barrister tenants

St Philips is increasingly becoming the first choice for high-quality barristers looking to maximise their potential. We pride ourselves on fostering a culture that enables barristers to thrive and fully expect our active recruitment drive to continue into 2024 and beyond.

Our staff team has also been bolstered through the arrival of nine new faces covering our business and property, criminal, employment, family and IT support teams.


Our focus on organic growth and commitment to developing the future of the Bar was further affirmed through the recruitment of a record eight pupils who commenced specialist pupillages with us in October. Additionally, Vithyah Chelvam joined our criminal and regulatory groups as a probationary tenant.

Pupil barristers 2023


An exciting development for Chambers occurred back in the summer when Sara Lewis KC was appointed as our new Head of Chambers. Sara succeeded Richard Atkins KC and is a highly experienced and respected KC specialising in family law. Sara’s appointment as Head follows the appointment last year of Yolanda Pemberton as Chair of our Management Committee and Board of Directors. Their promotions demonstrate our unwavering commitment to maximise the potential of our female members.

Sara Lewis KC, Head of Chambers


During the year we waved fond farewells to members who were appointed to the Judiciary; HHJ Charman, Employment Judge Gidney and District Judge Najib.

Additionally, William Douglas-Jones and Amy Jackson have been appointed Recorders.


Towards the end of the year, we were delighted to retain our “Top Tier Set” status with Legal 500 alongside 62 individual rankings with 12 ranked practice areas. Likewise, we were once again “Top Ranked” by Chambers & Partners with 79 individual rankings across 22 practice areas.

Further details regarding our excellent set of results with Legal 500 can be found here and Chambers & Partners rankings here.

As ever, a huge thank you to all those clients who took the time to provide feedback to the legal directory researchers.

Chambers Top Ranked Logo
Legal 500 Rankings Top Tier Set


External validation of the service being delivered by Chambers was not just restricted to the legal directories. We once again found ourselves in esteemed company through our shortlisting for Chambers of the Year at the Legal Business Awards and Regional Set of the Year at Chambers UK Bar Awards.

We were immensely proud to see individual award shortlisting for Yolanda Pemberton and Marc Brown in the Barrister of the Year category at the Birmingham Legal Awards, Jennifer Josephs in the Crime and Extradition Junior of the Year category at the Legal 500 Bar Awards and Andrew Charman shortlisted as Barrister of the Year at the Worcestershire Law Society Awards.

Special congratulations are reserved for William Horwood who won the Birmingham Law Society Pro Bono Award at last night’s Birmingham Legal Awards. William was a very worthy winner of this award and Chambers is hugely proud of the hard work undertaken and the generosity he has shown in undertaking pro bono work.

William Horwood BLS Pro Bono Award

We also picked up two trophies at the Legal Style Awards where we were winners of the Friendliest Clerking Team award alongside Leisha Bond who won in the Most Stylish Female Barrister category.


After a couple of years where, for reasons we are all well aware, in-person events took a back seat 2023 saw Chambers return as host to a thriving event programme. From small one-off events to seminar and conference series, networking events for 100+ and even a few parties thrown in, we managed over 60 onsite events over the past 12 months.


2023 marked the 25th anniversary of the formation of St Philips Chambers – a milestone that included a night of celebration at Birmingham’s Council House which not only focused our minds on the successes we have jointly achieved since 1998 but also provided a catalyst for the formulation of exciting plans for the future; plans which will see us continue to cement St Philips as a forward-thinking, progressive force at the Bar.

St Philips Chambers 25th Anniversary Dinner

Written by Guy Dunwoody