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Philip Engelman has quit his role as head of Cardinal chambers to return to his former set Cloisters.A statement released by Cloisters referred to the move as “a major coup”, and a “significant vote of confidence” in the set.Engelman, a specialist in public, commercial, and employment law, first left Cloisters two years ago to join Michael Martin at Cardinal. Martin spent 26 years as head clerk with Cloisters, but split acrimoniously with the set two years ago. He set up Cardinal chambers in June 1999 with four Cloisters barristers, Engelman, Lewis Power, and two pupils. Engelman said his decision to return to Cloisters was based on “the improvements made to its administration, technology and skills base”. “Since my departure, it has been increasingly difficult to watch the impressive redevelopment of Cloisters… from the sidelines”, he said in a prepared statement.Two silks, Stephen Solley QC and Jerome Lynch QC, have since joined Cardinal from Cloisters. All except Engelman have remained.Michael Martin said the first he heard of the news was a conversation with a Cloisters senior clerk on 11 June, Engelman’s first day back in his former chambers. “It’s totally unexpected”, said Martin. “He always said he’d never go back [to Cloisters].”

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