Dere Street Barristers was formed in December 2011 upon the merger of Broad Chare and York Chambers.
51 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, was the predecessor of Broad Chare Chambers. This stable produced great characters including J Harvey Robson, Jim Stephenson and the ‘Lions of the North’ Peter Taylor, Humphrey Potts, Roddy Smith, Jim Chadwin and Wilf Steer. Myrella Cohen was the 5th woman in the UK to be appointed Queen’s Counsel. After the war Norman Harper and Lyall Wilkes were heads of chambers. Lyall Wilks was succeeded in turn by Wilf Steer QC, Esmond Faulks under whose leadership chambers moved, in 1988, to the Quayside and chambers was renamed Broad Chare, with members of 81 Westgate Road invited to join soon afterwards. On the appointment of HHJ Faulks, Chris Walton, Eric Elliott, Paddy Cosgrove QC and then Ben Nolan QC served as heads of chambers.
2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, was the forerunner of York Chambers. Heads of chambers were C Paley Scott QC, Raymond Hinchcliffe QC, Henry Scott QC (who each became Leaders of the North Eastern Circuit), Clifford Lauriston QC jointly with Rudolph Castle-Miller who were succeeded by Louis Lawton QC and then Robin Stewart QC. For many years this was traditionally the London chambers circuit based civil practitioners joined on taking Silk. An annex was opened in York in the 1980’s at 17 Blake Street. In 1990, after premises were acquired and renovated at 14 Toft Green, York Chambers was created and headed by Simon Hawkesworth QC followed by Aidan Marron QC, Gilbert Gray QC and John Elvidge QC. For 10 years, from 2001 until 2011, chambers also operated from a suite of rooms on the top floor of Rotterdam House on the Quayside, overlooking the River Tyne.
Over the years many former members of chambers have been appointed to full time judicial office: Tribunal Chairs; District Judges; Circuit Judges; Designated Civil and Family Judges, Resident Judges of the Crown Court and Recorders of cities throughout the North Eastern Circuit and beyond (HHJ Paul Batty QC, HHJ Judy Moir, HHJ Chris Walton, HHJ Henry Scott QC, HHJ Peter Bowers, HHJ Michael Taylor, HHJ Simon Hawkesworth QC, HHJ Aidan Marron QC, HHJ Gillian Matthews QC and HHJ Peter Johnson); to the High Court (Hinchcliffe J, Potts J and Smith J) and the Court of Appeal (Lord Taylor CJ).