More about Deans Court Chambers

Expert legal advice and advocacy, delivered by an outstanding team of King’s Counsel and barristers.

The Barristers at Deans Court are regulated by the Bar Standards Board.

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In the increasingly competitive market for legal services, Deans Court Chambers stands out as one of the leading barristers' chambers in the country and are regularly ranked by all major legal directories as one of the Top Sets on the Northern Circuit.

About Us

Deans Court Chambers are a modern, innovative and forward-looking set, comprising of more than 100 barristers, 12 of whom are King’s Counsel. We offer specialist advocacy, advisory and drafting expertise across a wide spectrum of practice areas and at every level of seniority. Our aim is to provide the highest standards of service and to anticipate and respond to our clients’ needs.

At 24 St. John Street, Manchester, and at our premises at 101 Walker Street, Preston, we provide first class, purpose-designed facilities for conferences and consultations, lectures and seminars, arbitration, mediation and video-conferencing so that we can cater for our client's bespoke requirements.

Our reputation for professionalism and approachability is underpinned throughout by a rigorous quality policy. Our staff, assisted by the latest in technology, provide comprehensive support in delivering the strong, flexible response clients need.

Deans Court Chambers: Our history

Deans Court Chambers is recognised as one of one of the leading sets of independent barristers in the country, with a strong presence nationally and locally.

Originally founded over 125 years ago on Moseley Street Manchester (Circa 1897), Deans Court has had many homes in Manchester and a long established annexe in Preston.

During the past century it has occupied premises on Princess Street, 26 King Street, 9 Albert Square and 1 Deans Court, Crown Square. 

The current Preston annexe is in historic former local headquarters of the Salvation Army.

Since 25th June 1999, Deans Court has occupied the prestigious Grade II listed building at 24, St John Street. This former private hospital, built in the early 1840’s, dominates the only  Georgian terrace  in Central Manchester to have survived the horrors of bombings and urban development.

These premises on St John Street were officially opened by The Lord Chief Justice, the Right Honourable Lord Bingham of Cornhill, along with our then Head of Chambers, Mr Keith Goddard KC. This gala event just before the millennium was attended by the Lord Mayor of the City of Manchester and the Lady Mayoress, together with many other members of the Bar and Bench.

Membership of Chambers has steadily increased over the last 100 years to meet the demands of our clients both lay and professional. At the time of the Second World War, we numbered just 13 members.  This has increased to a current membership of over 100 barristers, including 12 King’s Counsel. We continue to grow and focus on quality representation for our clients. This has been the foundation of our reputation for over 100 years.

Over its lengthy history Chambers has had a strong tradition of public service. Over the 127 years since its founding members of Chambers have been appointed as elite advocates wearing the robes of King and Queens’ counsel. 

Many members have chosen to serve the community in  judicial office. 

The first Chambers judge that we know of  was Jessel Rycroft, the son of a founding member of Chambers, who was Manchester City Coroner for 20 years until 1963. 

His Honour Judge Robert Lambert became a County Court Judge in 1968.

Since these early days a steady flow of appointments has followed.   

Since Robert Lambert a further 19 of our members have become Circuit Judges, 4 have been appointed to the High Court and 1 to the Court of Appeal. Sir Earnest Ryder was appointed as Senior President of the Tribunals from 2015 to 2020.

No chambers can survive now nor could it in the past without the support of loyal hard-working Bar-clerks and staff.  Over the years Deans Court has been lucky to have recruited respected and well known long-serving Senior Clerks; including Joe Pattison, Trevor Doyle, Terry Creathorn and our current Senior Clerk, Matthew Gibbons. 

Hall of Fame

Deans Court Chambers ‘Hall of Fame’ - Our heritage remains a strong part of our present ethos and our ‘Hall of Fame’ is a reminder of those members who have moved to the Judiciary during their time at Deans Court. Any tour of our historic Chambers is not complete without a walk down this corridor, where heavyweights of a bygone era such as The Hon. Mr. Justice Poole (who defended Eric Cantona in his famous Kung Fu kick incident) or The Hon. Sir. Richard Henriques (Prosecuted Dr Harold Shipman and the killers of young Jamie Bulger) line the walls. It is a reminder to all who work at Deans Court of our proud history and is representative of our commitment to build on the success and hard-work of those who have preceded us in Chambers.


Appointments to the Judiciary 

Court of Appeal

Sir Ernest Ryder (also appointed Senior President of the Tribunals)

High Court

Sir David Poole

Sir Richard Henriques

Sir Ernest Ryder

Mr. Justice Turner

Circuit / County Court

Robert Lambert

Keith Dewhurst

Norman Lees

Gerard Humphries

Brian Duckworth DL

Anthony Hammond

Gillian Ruaux

Diana Eaglestone

Peter Main KC

Philip Butler

Alan Booth

David Stockdale KC

Patrick Field KC

Louise Bancroft

Timothy Smith

Jonathan Butler

Mark Savill

Alison Woodward

Craig Sephton KC

Timothy Edge

Peter Horgan

Michelle Ormrod and Melanie Owen - Deans Court Chambers Reception