'What a time it has been!’ – longstanding senior clerk quits Quadrant Chambers
‘Best clerk in the City’ Gary Ventura leaves after 22 years helping oversee set’s modernisation
Quadrant Chambers’ high profile joint senior clerk, Gary Ventura, has left the set after 22 years.
Ventura’s departure was announced by the set yesterday. The chambers said he had decided to leave and paid tribute to his record in a statement headed: ‘What a time it has been!’
Ventura, who was unavailable for comment on his future plans, is described by the Legal 500 directory as ‘the best clerk in the City’ and is closely associated with Quadrant’s modernisation.
During his tenure, the set has grown from 30 members to 70 and branched out from its traditional roots in shipping law to include aviation, commercial disputes, commodities, energy, insurance and arbitration.
James Turner QC, head of the set’s management committee, said: “He has been a stalwart for 22 years but felt it was time to move on. We’re sad but ‘stoked’ for the future.”
Head of chambers Poonam Melwani QC added: “We are very grateful to Gary for his energy and passion for Quadrant, its members, clerks, and most importantly, its clients. We have achieved phenomenal success over the time he has been with chambers, and he leaves a great legacy. Everyone at Quadrant wishes him all the best.”
It is understood that highly regarded joint senior clerk Simon Slattery, who joined from Atkin Chambers in 2013, will become sole head.
Ventura joined Quadrant in 2000 from Radcliffe Chambers and was appointed head of clerking in 2004 and then senior clerk in 2007, working closely with then joint heads of chambers Simon Rainey QC and Lionel Persey QC, alongside then CEO Tim Gerrard.
He subsequently supported successive heads of chambers, namely: Simon Croall QC, Luke Parsons QC and, most recently, Melwani, who became the set’s first female head of chambers when she was appointed in 2021.
Following Slattery’s appointment as co-senior clerk, the set further strengthened its management team with the arrival of COO Peter Blair in 2016 and director of business development Sarah Longden, who joined the following year.
Together, the quartet steered the set’s evolution, adding professional business management skills alongside traditional clerking ones, while the set’s members retained their reputation for legal acumen.
The set’s focus on international arbitration is particularly notable, with Parsons, Persey, Rainey and rising star Yash Kulkarni QC together generating additional instructions and improved fee income, as well as industry recognition.
Ventura fought for all four assiduously, and was recognised for so doing by fellow long-standing members of the Institute of Barristers’ Clerks and law firm partners alike.
His departure marks the end of an era, but also a new beginning for the set, one Slattery is well placed to assist.
Ventura is the second senior clerk to leave a significant set of chambers this summer, with Keating Chambers’ Declan Redmond choosing to join Kroll in a business development role after eight years.