Announcement: Richard Fernyhough QC

Date: 19 January 2021

Richard Fernyhough QC has recently announced that he would be retiring from Chambers, with effect from 1 January 2021.

Richard started his career as a pupil at Keating almost 50 years ago, serving as Head of Chambers between 1997 and 2002, cementing his place in our history. He took silk in 1986, sat as a Deputy High Court Judge from 1992, was a former chair of TECBAR’s predecessor, ORBA, and later became an internationally renowned Arbitrator.

Former Head of Chambers, Marcus Taverner QC, had the following words to say about Richard:

“Richard was part of the group that built the solid foundations on which Chambers now stand, and most importantly he nurtured its ethos and culture. He was pupil master to many of us, myself included, and he taught us not just about the law but the traditions and practice of the Bar. Those who were privileged enough to see him on his feet in court were more than impressed and influenced.

To many, over the years, he remained not just a friend and confidant but the benchmark of the right approach to all the dilemmas a barrister faces during professional life. Richard is a man of thought, intellect and wisdom. He grew to become the ultimate ‘Eminence Grise’. Most importantly, Richard promoted kindness and courtesy.

I extend our warmest congratulations on a fabulous and successful career and our very best wishes for the future ahead.”

In his announcement to chambers, Richard reflected on his career which started in late 1971 at 11 King’s Bench Walk and extended his thanks to all those who have been part of his time at Keating:

“At that time there were 15 members of chambers, no silks and the Head of Chambers was a retired army officer who did a lot of criminal work in Surrey. It was a modest common law set which did every conceivable type of common law work, but very few “building cases”, as we called them.

Now there are 31 silks and 35 juniors in chambers and we are known as the pre-eminent set of barristers’ chambers specialising in Construction Law. It is true that the Bar has gone from strength to strength over the past 50 years, but even so the story of the transformation of a modest common law set into Keating Chambers is a remarkable one.

It would not have happened without the late Donald Keating QC to whom we owe an enormous debt of gratitude. Donald looked upon chambers as an extended family of like- minded individuals. And today, even though that family has grown rather more than anyone expected, that same ethos still persists.

I would especially like to thank the clerks, past and present, the admin staff and all the other people in chambers who have contributed so greatly to the success of chambers. I have always regarded representing others as a real privilege, and I consider myself the most fortunate of men to have been able to do that from Keating Chambers.”

Head of Chambers, Alexander Nissen QC has since announced that Richard will remain a part of the Keating family as one of our Honorary Associates, as voted upon by the whole of Chambers.

On behalf of everyone past and present at Keating, I would like to thank Richard for his friendship, support and leadership. We are delighted that he will keep his association with us and look forward to being able to celebrate his career in person when we can.”

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