Our History

In 2021, Carmelite Chambers renamed to become Mountford Chambers.

Fresh leadership and management, along with expansion into new practice areas prompted the name change to herald in a new era for Chambers.

“A fine set with strong values” Chambers & Partners, 2021

Why Mountford?

Edward William MOUNTFORD [22 September 1855 – 7 February 1908] was an English architect who designed the Old Bailey in London. The Old Bailey has been housed in a succession of court buildings on the street since the sixteenth century, when it was attached to the medieval Newgate gaol. The current main building block designed by Edward Mountford, was completed in 1902 and its architecture is recognised and protected as a Grade II* listed building. An extension South Block was constructed in 1972, over the former site of Newgate gaol which was demolished in 1904.

The Mountford name is synonymous with excellence, dependability, and longevity.

The Chambers of Richard ‘Dick’ Ferguson

Chambers was already a long-established criminal set when Richard ‘Dick’ Ferguson joined in 1984.  He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in Northern Ireland in 1973, and as further appointed as a Senior Counsel in the South in 1983. He took silk in England and Wales in 1986, one year after joining as Head of Chambers.

Dick Ferguson arrived with a first-class reputation as one of Ireland’s finest advocates.  He then took the English Bar by storm appearing in the most highly publicised cases, representing amongst many others – Patrick Magee, the Brighton Bomber, Ernest Saunders, the Chief Executive of Guinness in the share-trade fraud and Rosemary West on multiple murder charges.  He became, it was said, the most formidable advocate of his generation and under his leadership, for almost twenty-five years, Chambers grew from strength to strength.

He also set about transforming Chambers, moving the set to larger premises – first to a single floor at 1, Crown Office Row, then taking sole occupancy at 2-4 Tudor Street.   Finally in December 2006 we purchased our magnificent premises in Carmelite Street, on the bank of the River Thames, hard by the Temple, Blackfriars and the Central Criminal Court and took our “Corporate” name from our location – Carmelite Chambers.

As Chambers reputation grew, so did its number of barristers, progressing to become one of the most sought after sets of chambers in the Country.

When Dick Ferguson died in 2009 Chambers lost one of the longest serving Heads of Chambers known to the Bar, having held that post with distinction for almost twenty-five years and died in harness.

The Post Ferguson Era

Nigel Lambert QC was his obvious successor.  He had already been Dick’s Deputy Head of Chambers for five years and in Silk for ten years. Under his dynamic leadership Chambers continued to flourish and strengthened our position as one of the leading sets in the country.

In April 2014, Charles Bott QC took over leadership of chambers. He steered chambers through a period of considerable success as our numbers and reputation grew.

Most recently, in the summer of 2020, Chris Henley QC was appointed Head of Chambers. Our team of Silks and juniors has never been stronger.  We enjoy the very best of clerking and administration; and we are rewarded by loyalty from a large number of solicitors.

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