St Johns Buildings sprung from the successful mergers of 3 prominent Manchester sets and a Chester set. They each had their own distinct history and character.
28 St. John Street had developed remarkably quickly from somewhat avant garde beginnings in the 1940s to command widespread respect and renown.
Drive and ambition on the part of its members combined with a strong administration at 24a St John Street enabled it to achieve great prominence during the 1980s and 1990s mainly in crime but with strong representation in other common law areas.
Merchant Chambers emerged as a force to be reckoned with in the 1990s shaped by members who were determined to establish a business friendly, Manchester based, specialist commercial law service.
Whitefriars Chambers was established in 1961. In the intervening years, Chambers developed into a General Common Law set of 24 members with a strong reputation in crime, family and civil work across North Wales, Cheshire and Shropshire. Previous members include Sir Maurice Kay, Lord Justice of Appeal.
The joinder of these four entities and the arrival of 10 members of the former Queens Chambers resulted in a vibrant and exciting super set in which the best qualities of all its former entities combined to create a chambers which we believed to be far superior than the sum of its parts.
Subsequently, in late 2008, Chambers was joined by 25 new members following the dissolution of Peel Court Chambers, one of Manchester's most respected criminal sets. This further enhanced our quality and reputation, building on the success that had been evident in the preceding 60 years and continuing Chambers drive for excellence at all levels.
2011 saw our most recent period of unprecedented growth, when India Buildings in Liverpool and Paradise Chambers in Sheffield both merged with St Johns Buildings, creating St Johns Buildings Sheffield and Liverpool. The merged Chambers is the largest in the country, with expert advocates spread across five Northern cities and two Circuits.