Clerks, Management and Administration

"The clerks at Serle Court are excellent - they understand the need for prompt and comprehensive responses"
Chambers UK
"You always get a call back quickly, and they are always helpful"
Chambers UK
"always recommend a barrister suitable for the job and generally make life easier"
Legal 500
"The clerks are great. They are very, very helpful and if we have a problem they sort it."
Chambers UK
"I find them very easy to work with. They always do their best to find a solution that works for us, which is impressive."
Chambers UK
“It’s a very good set of chambers. The clerks, led by Steve Whitaker, are extremely helpful and proficient.”
Chambers UK
“The clerks are a good gang. When you ring up they always know who you are, make sure you get a good service and make things happen.”
Chambers UK
"The clerks are fantastic - user-friendly, engaged, commercial. Very much on board with what it is we're trying to do."
Chambers High Net Worth
"It’s an absolute breeze to instruct them - the clerks are really responsive and good, very available, and respond quickly."
Chambers High Net Worth
"I have found the clerks at Serle Court to be well organised, responsive and extremely helpful." "The clerks are very proactive and engaged - they're a pleasure to work with."
Chambers UK
‘impressive’ and ‘user-friendly clerks’ room.
Legal 500


Steve is Serle Court’s Head Clerk.  His clerking reputation spans 46 years; 43 of those in allegiance to chambers. Steve has principal responsibility for all aspects of the clerking function including diary management, fee negotiation, work allocation and business development for all members of chambers. Steve sits on the full range of chambers committees; including the Management, Marketing, Strategy and Tenancy committees. Steve has managed Serle Court through the various stages of modernisation within the profession over the past 42 years – growing from 11 members with only one Silk to the current level of 69 members including 27 Silks. Steve has an excellent team of clerks that support his ethos of client care where nothing is too much trouble.

Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 acknowledges that Steve is "a real gent; responsive, straight-talking, and able to think outside the box", “is well-liked among instructing solicitors.” “You can have a conversation with him, whether it is about the right person for the job or about fees,” explains one source, continuing: “He’s a person you can do business with.”

In his spare time, he endures the gym, enjoys playing golf (badly) and spending time with his five grandchildren.

Nicholas Hockney

Senior Clerk

Nick Joined Serle Court as a result of the merger between Serle Court and 1 Hare Court in 2000. Nick started as a junior clerk in 1991 and has progressed to Senior Clerk in 2006. Nick can advise on the full spectrum of client services with key responsibilities being the distribution of work, fee negotiation and developing the practices of members of chambers. He has excellent relationships with the listing departments in the High Court. In 2014 Nick was one of the first clerks to achieve the Level 5 diploma in Leadership and Management from the Institute of Leadership and Management.

The legal 500 and Chambers and Partners describes Nick as:

"makes the effort to know the market properly and is very well informed"

"among the best clerks in the business’ – ‘unfailingly helpful, constructive and creative"

"really good in terms of availability"

Go-to "senior clerk Nick Hockney, who is charming and responsive to queries".

In his spare time Nick enjoys spending quality time with his 3 children alongside gardening, fishing, and golf.

Dan joined Chambers in 2000, having previously worked at 1 Hare Court. He started as a Junior Clerk in 1999 and was promoted to First Junior Clerk in 2010 Team Leader in 2013 and to Senior Clerk in 2018. Dan is responsible for the management and development of members’ practices, including diary management, work allocation, fee negotiation, business development, client relationship management and the listing of cases at Court. In 2016 Dan completed his Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management. 

The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners describes Dan as follows: 

"Clerks room is a well oiled machine. Dan Wheeler is particularly helpful and efficient."

"Steve Whittaker and Daniel Wheeler in particular are responsive, can-do and commercial – and a pleasure to deal with."

"commercial and a pleasure to deal with

“always recommends a barrister suitable for the job and generally makes life easier”. 

"responsiveness and willingness to accommodate complicated requests."

Outside of chambers Dan enjoys spending time with his family. He is also a keen runner and has completed the London Marathon, raising over £6,000 for Children with Cancer.

Paul Ballard


On 5th August 1974, at the age of 16, Paul started his career as the Junior Clerk in the Commercial Chambers of (Sir) Roger Parker QC, 1 Hare Court.  Paul qualified as member of the Institute of Barrister Clerks in 1976, was promoted to Joint Senior clerk in the Spring of 1990 and held the position on the merger with 13 Old Square, becoming Serle Court in 2000. 

Paul’s main duties include liaison with clients, distribution of work, management of Counsels’ diaries and fee negotiation.  He is also responsible for managing the practices of our Arbitrators.  

The Legal 500 describes Paul as: 

"great to work with, always helpful, and very responsive"

Paul enjoys socialising, music, film and going to the theatre. In his spare time, his hobbies include walking the dog and Koi Carp fish-keeping.  He is also a season ticket holder (with his two sons) at Tottenham Hotspur FC. 

Emma Quin


Emma joined Serle Court in 2008. Prior to joining Chambers, after graduating from the University of Southampton with a BA in English, she worked at The Daily Telegraph for four years. Her main responsibilities include the diary management and practice development of all members of chambers, fee negotiation, distribution of work, the listing of cases at Court and assisting with marketing initiatives. She is also solely responsible for managing the practices of our mediators. She is a member of the IBC and has completed the BTEC in Chambers Administration and the ILM Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management. Outside of work, Emma enjoys travelling, going to the theatre and running. 

Adam Bell


Adam started his career in 2004 and joined Serle Court in 2008 from another leading chancery/commercial chambers in Lincoln’s Inn. Adam’s responsibilities include the management and development of all barristers’ practices, distribution of work, fee negotiation, fixing and the management of client relationships.

Adam has completed the ILM Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management.

Adam is a member of the Institute of Barristers’ Clerks.

The Legal 500 describes Adam as follows:

Adam Bell “always recommends a barrister suitable for the job and generally makes life easier”.

Charlie Payne


Charlie joined chambers in 2013 as a post room assistant. He was then promoted to the clerks room in 2015. His duties include; diary management, fee negotiation, case allocation, case listing, liaising with clients and the overall development of members' practices. In addition to this, Charlie often deals with arranging members work permits as well as arranging for them to get called to the relevant jurisdictions where necessary.

Charlie has completed the BTEC Advanced Certificate in Chambers Administration. 

Chambers and Partners describe Charlie as follows: 

"excellent - extremely efficient and turns around instructions very quickly."

Outside of chambers, Charlie is a keen sportsman who often plays football, golf and regularly attends the gym. 

Amber Feltwell


Amber started her career as a clerk in 2017 at 1MCB Chambers of John Benson QC. Starting as Office Assistant, before being promoted to Criminal Clerk, she also spent time in the civil and family department. Her responsibilities included diary management, case listing, allocating cases, fee negotiation, and billing. Amber always supports the team with a positive, helpful attitude, with a high level of efficiency and has an excellent work ethic, which includes attention to detail. 

Outside of chambers, Amber enjoys socialising with friends and family and going to the theatre.

Leigh Byas

Senior Fees Clerk

Leigh joined Chambers in September 2009. With her wealth of experience, Leigh is responsible for the day to day running of Chambers fee collection, Aged Debt and forensic accounts. Leigh started her career at Howes Percival in London and went on to work at various other London firms including Olswangs and Stephenson Harwood to name but a few. 

Leigh is a member of the Insitute of Barristers Clerks. 

In her spare time, she enjoys family life. 

David Ruben

Postroom Manager

Management and Administration

Chief Executive

John Petrie MBE

Chief Executive

John is the Chief Executive of Serle Court and is responsible for the business development programme and management of the administrative services of Chambers. He is a member of all Chambers committees and supported by excellent staff in delivering a high quality service to both members of Chambers and clients. John joined Serle Court in 2015 having previously worked as Chief of Legal Operations in an international war crimes tribunal and as Chief Executive of a national governing body, this following a career in the armed forces.

John was invited to discuss ‘Measuring return on investment in professional services’ for Legal Business Magazine, which can be viewed here.

John was invited to discuss 'Hybrid counsel - powered by commercial and chancery expertise' for Legal Business Magazine, which can be viewed here.

John has also recently been invited to discuss 'Marketing After Lockdown' for New Law Journal, which can be found here. 

Business Development & Marketing

Charlotte Davidson

Business Development Manager

Charlotte joined Serle Court's clerking team in 2013 and took up the role of Business Development Manager in 2018.

Charlotte is responsible for implementing chambers’ current business development and marketing strategy.  Charlotte works closely with Chief Executive John Petrie, Marketing Manager Shana Garioch, and the Senior Clerks in order to plan business development activities and establish client care for chambers in all key areas of practice.  Charlotte also oversees chambers' PR and communications programme.  

Prior to joining chambers, Charlotte started her career as a Clerk at 4 New Square.  In 2010, she completed the Bar Vocation Course (BVC); now the BPTC, and holds a Law degree from the University of Kent.  

In 2019 Charlotte completed the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management, awarded by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).  She is a member of the Legal Practice Management Association (LPMA) and the Professional Services Marketing Group (PSMG).

Charlotte can be contacted at

Shana Garioch

Marketing Manager

Shana joined Serle Court in June 2019 as a Marketing Manager. She is responsible for managing chambers’ marketing mix and, together with the Chief Executive, John Petrie, and Business Development Manager, Charlotte Davidson, implementing chambers’ marketing strategy. Shana brings diverse and substantial marketing experience, having worked at Landmark Chambers, one of the UK’s leading planning sets, and 9 Gough Chambers, a leading common law set, where she headed the marketing projects.

Shana has a Bachelors’ Business Administration degree completed in Brazil, her home country and she started her marketing career working at one of the biggest oil companies in the country as a marketing trainee. She speaks fluent Portuguese and has a good understanding of Italian and Spanish. 

Shana is a member of the Professional Services Marketing Group, PSMG attending and hosting events regularly. 

Lyric McDonald

Marketing & Events Executive

Lyric joined Serle Court in June 2018 after graduating from Anglia Ruskin University with an Upper-Second Class BA Honours in Criminology. Her main responsibilities include organising and delivering events and seminars, preparation of newsletters, updating Chambers website and social media pages and producing branded marketing materials. Lyric is also our Pupillage and Mini-Pupillage administrator. 

Outside of chambers, Lyric partakes in various forms of aerial fitness and is a qualified aerial hoop instructor.

Operations, IT & Finance

Christina Allen

Operations & Facilities Manager

Nicholas Smith

IT Manager

Philip McGowan

Finance Manager

Philip graduated from the University of Oxford in mathematics and qualified as a Chartered Accountant at RSM Tenon in 2010. He has worked in practice as an auditor, and more recently as an accountant in different industries. He joined Serle Court in 2016, where he is responsible for the accounting and financial side of the Chambers and assisting both the barristers and the CEO with financial matters. He is married to Abi and has two young children.


Katie Clutterbuck



Carole Broad