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John Swift QC has stepped down as head of Monckton Chambers after two-and-a-half years to be replaced by competition and tax silks Kenneth Parker and Paul Lasok as joint chambers heads.The new joint heads of chambers were elected unanimously by the chambers’ 27 tenants.The pair take over at a sensitive stage for Monckton, which was rocked last year by an abortive attempt to merge with public and commercial law set 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square.Monckton senior clerk Graham Lister told Legal Week: “Lasok and Parker are both highly professional and successful silks, and it was felt it would be difficult to decide between the two of them. Electing them as joint heads seemed to be the best thing for chambers.”Swift, a specialist in EU and UK competition law, returned to the bar as head of Monckton chambers in 1999 after a five-year stint as the UK’s first rail regulator and special adviser to the secretary of state for transport. Swift will remain in practice at Monckton. Lister said the strategy at Monckton, which is best known for its core EU competition practice, was for growth at both the senior and junior ends of the practice.However, he said there was no prospect of the chambers risking another merger.“We have absolutely no intention of merging at this time,” he added.

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