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Leading commercial set 4 Essex Court has boosted its core shipping team with the appointment of five commercial specialists from rival chambers 4 Field Court, including silk Lionel Persey.Persey along with Nigel Meeson, David Goldstone, and Michael Davey join Essex Court’s 17-strong shipping practice, while Guy Blackwood joins the reinsurance group.The five will make the move on the 29 June, just three days after the group finalised its decision to transfer.A spokesman for the group said: “This is a logical move for us. Our practices dovetail perfectly with those of the existing members of 4 Essex Court.”The move is the latest phase in the set’s long-term expansion strategy. Earlier this year former South Eastern circuit judge Harvey Crush joined the set’s aviation team as an arbitrator and mediator.In 1997, Essex Court recruited four aviation practitioners from the now defunct 5 Bell Yard chambers. Two years later it took on two more tenants from New Court Chambers.Earlier this year the set also announced plans to move to larger premises. It has secured the £1m-plus tenancy of a 24,000 square feet five-storey Victorian block at 7-15 Fleet Street and will be moving in early 2003.Four Essex Court senior clerk Gordon Armstrong said the set was looking to expand to the 55 tenants. “You have to have a certain strength for commercial expediency”, he said. “But we don’t intend to grow out of the traditional chambers size. We’re a cohesive unit and we plan to stay that way.”The set is also looking for more tenants in general commercial disputes and insurance.

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