2 Hare Court, the Chambers of Jonathan Laidlaw KC, is recognised both nationally and internationally as one of the UK’s leading sets, specialising in Criminal Defence, Private Prosecution, Public Prosecution, Fraud, Health & Safety, Inquests & Public Inquiries, Professional Discipline, Tax, Sports Law and other related fields. The set is renowned for its high quality advice, advocacy and client service.
Hare Court is part of the Inner Temple and takes its name from Sir Nicholas Hare. Sir Nicholas rose to fame during the reign of Queen Mary I. He was knighted in 1538, and was elected Speaker of the House of Commons in 1540. In 1553 he was appointed Master of the Rolls, a position he occupied until his death in 1557. He was buried in the nearby eleventh century Temple Church, and is commemorated in the south bay window of the new Inner Temple Hall. The Court took its name in 1567 when a nephew of Sir Nicholas, also named Nicholas Hare, entered chambers there and rebuilt many of the buildings. These original buildings were destroyed in a fire in 1678, and the building which is now 1 Hare Court dates from the reconstruction.
The notorious George Jeffreys was admitted to the Inner Temple in 1663 and occupied chambers on the west side of Hare Court. As Judge Jeffreys he was known as the “Hanging Judge of the Bloody Assizes.” He was later appointed Lord Chief Justice and Lord Chancellor. At one point, Dr Samuel Johnson and his friend James Boswell occupied chambers in the next door Farrar’s Building.
The previous set of chambers, vacated in October 2000, were on the ground floor at 1 Hare Court and came into existence in the 1950s with the merger of the long-established chambers of Lord Justice Sebag Shaw and Judge Bernard Gillis QC.
The current chambers at 2 Hare Court were extensively refurbished in 2000 and now offer high standard accommodation in a traditional setting, together with modern technology designed to support members and staff in delivering a quality service to clients.