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Farewell and our heartfelt thanks to Serle Court’s longest serving clerk, Head Clerk, Steven Whitaker

Serle Court’s Head Clerk, Steve, will retire from duties at the end of this week.  His clerking career spans over 50 years; 48 of those with Serle Court.

Steve has built and led a clerking team through a time of intense change both for the profession and for the role of clerk. Steve’s management style and flair for leadership is widely recognised by our barristers, clients and peers, and year after year Steve (like the incoming clerking leadership pairing of Nick Hockney and Dan Wheeler) has enjoyed plaudits from clients and the directories alike, the latter saying of Steve that he is:

“… a real gent; responsive, straight-talking, and able to think outside the box" “is well-liked among instructing solicitors.” He is "a man of great experience who runs a very tight ship." "He knows how to ensure that everything is in hand clerking-wise so that a case can hit the ground running."  “The client service is second to none; we would not be able to run any of our cases without him”. 

Kathryn Purkis (Chambers Director), Liz Jones KC (Head of Chambers), and Daniel Lightman KC, all reflect on Steve’s career success and contribution to chambers here:

Chambers Director, Kathryn Purkis said: “Steve’s retirement is the end of an era for Serle Court. His wisdom and charm, his store of knowledge, and his calm hand at the tiller will be sorely missed. All at Serle Court, past and present, are incredibly grateful to him for his massive contribution to Chambers as a whole, to our individual working lives, and for setting the path along which the new leadership team (Nick Hockney, Dan Wheeler and I) will strive to continue. We all wish Steve a very happy retirement.”

Elizabeth Jones KC, Head of Chambers, said:

“Steve has both exemplified and shaped the ethos of Serle Court; professional excellence combined with teamwork, kindness and integrity. We would not be the set we are today without him”.

On a personal note, Daniel Lightman KC added:

“Steve was the highly-cherished clerk to my late father, Sir Gavin Lightman, as well as to me. And not just a clerk: an adviser, confidant, problem-solver and trouble-shooter. With a remarkable capacity to remain calm however stressful the situation, Steve is renowned for his integrity, thoughtfulness and selfless and generous-spirited nature. And he combined this with commercial acumen, sound judgment and a deep experience of how to negotiate challenging problems involving difficult solicitors, clients, judges, listing clerks – and barristers.”

Along with the rest of the Serle Court family, Kathryn Purkis, Nick Hockney and Dan Wheeler, congratulate Steve on his retirement, and all three look forward to continuing his leadership legacy.

Please read Steve’s letter reflecting on his time at Serle Court here.