Westgate was founded in October 1987 by John Collins and Westgate’s First Clerk, Raymond Fox Byrne.
Up until then, the only Chambers in the South East were Annexes of London Chambers and John and Raymond knew both the solicitors and lay clients in the region deserved something more local, more accessible and more dedicated.
At the same time, they recognised many of the barristers who lived in the South East but had to commute into London each day would probably prefer to be based somewhere closer to home, but also somewhere that would still naturally provide them with cases from London and the South East.
As Lewes had been the premier legal centre in the Southeast for over 400 years, it was the natural choice as a location for the newly formed Westgate Chambers.
To acknowledge Chambers’ first anniversary, members were formally received by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Lane, at his judicial lodgings in Lewes on the 21st of June 1988.
Chambers Tenth Anniversary Dinner was in the presence of the Chief Justice of Ireland, The Hon. Liam Hamilton and the Leader of the House of Lords, Lord Ivor Richards.
Our 15th, 20th and 25th Anniversary Dinners were presided over by Lady Justice Anne Rafferty, Lady Justice of Appeal and her husband Brian John Barker, the Recorder of London at the Old Bailey.
And between all these landmark anniversaries, Westgate Chambers has continued to thrive.
Now with more than 35 years of legal excellence comfortably under our belts, we have been home to over 100 lawyers, many of whom have appeared in some of England and Wales’s most notable trials, many of whom have graduated as Judges in various capacities.