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Citadel was formed in 2001, on the merger of two established Birmingham sets - 4, Fountain Court and Coleridge Chambers. At the time of the merger, most members of both sets practised in crime, although some members of 4 Fountain Court also undertook general common law work, and had particular expertise in licensing. Citadel is still regarded as a set with particular strength in crime, regulatory crime and licensing, at all levels, but now has a significant number of members who deal with an increasingly varied workload in the fields of employment, prison law, asylum and immigration, contentious costs and general common law.
History of 4 Fountain Court
In origin the oldest set of Barristers' Chambers in Birmingham, it was initially situated at 77 Colmore Row, and remained there for 50 years before moving to Cavendish House in Waterloo Street. In 1909, the first year in which the Law List recorded provincial barristers, there were 30 barristers in Birmingham of which no fewer than 10 were listed as practising from 77 Colmore Row.
In 1965 a change of name followed relocation to Fountain Court on Steelhouse Lane. In the early part of its existence, the work of Chambers was mixed, with a wide ranging practice in the fields of chancery, family, industrial injuries, mining, planning, licensing, and intellectual property. With the availability of criminal legal aid, crime grew as a proportion of work.
Going back to the time of Sir Henry Maddocks Q.C. in 1925, no fewer than three Recorders of Birmingham and 16 Circuit Judges were appointed from this set. In recent years there were 3 High Court appointments from its ranks : Mr Justice Mitting in 1999, the late Mr Justice Wakerley in 2003 and Mr Justice Saunders in 2006.
History of Coleridge Chambers
Coleridge Chambers was founded in 1983 by Simon Brand and Andrew Fisher together with a number of others. It developed into a largely criminal set with 23 members by the time of the merger in 2001. This set also took its name from the original location in 'Coleridge Chambers' next to the Victoria Law Courts, and after expansion moved to the current location in the nearby 'Citadel' building.
In October 2008, Amjad Nawaz was the first Citadel member from the former Coleridge Chambers to be appointed to the Circuit Bench.