3 Paper Buildings, Temple, London

3PB is proud of its historic links. Our Chambers has been practising from 3 Paper Buildings in the Temple since Christmas Day 1892. Originally just a handful of rooms in this large and prestigious building, 3PB has gradually expanded so that now we are the only set of Chambers established there. We also have Chambers in Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Oxford, and Winchester linked by technology.

The first building on this site, which was formerly part of the Temple Gardens, was Heyward’s Buildings of 1610. The present name, in use by the 1650s, described the timber, lath and plaster construction then known as ‘paper work’, hence ‘Paper Buildings.’

Following the Great Fire in 1685, the building was rebuilt in brick, and on the north end were painted frescoes of the Virtues, still to be seen in the essayist Charles Lamb’s time. In 1838 these buildings were also destroyed by a fire, which contemporaries attributed to the carelessness of William Maule QC (later Mr Justice Maule) in leaving a lighted candle by his bedside. They were immediately rebuilt in the stonework seen today.

The first telephone

In 1907 Scobell Armstrong joined Chambers. In his autobiography (Yesterday – published 1955) he described an early example of our use of Information Technology. At that time there were only three members of Chambers. On agreeing to join them, Armstrong discovered there was no telephone:

…those three dear old gentlemen put their heads together and said that they would put in a telephone, at their own expense, if I would give my solemn undertaking that they would never be required to attend to it or use it themselves. I gave this undertaking with a light heart for, as they had two clerks, such an event was not a probable one. But luck was against me.

On the day after the telephone had been installed one of the two clerks was away ill, and the other had without my knowing it, been sent on an errand. I went across at the usual time for my lunch at the Inner Temple Hall. On my return, Raymond opened the door to me and said reproachfully: ‘while you were out that horrid thing went off. I hope I did rightly. I took the mouth-and-ear piece from the hook and on holding the thing to my ear I distinctly heard a voice saying “Are you Debenham and Freebody’s?” [a department store of the time] I answered clearly and loudly into the mouthpiece: “No, this is a lawyer’s office and if you ask any questions you will have to pay two guineas.”‘

Mr David Marshall, property barrister (Call 1981), was responsible for Chamber’s first website and the introduction of network IT throughout its UK offices, and is an Honorary Member of Chambers.

Numerous members of Chambers have gone on to hold high judicial office. Former distinguished occupants include Lord Justice Montague Smith, Mr Justice Deane, Sir Frederick Bosanquet and Sir Walter Monckton. Our literary connections include the Nobel Prize winning novelist John Galsworthy who, in a room on the first floor of the London Chambers, passed his time waiting for briefs by writing his first novel.

Former Members

The following former members of Chambers are now full-time, or retired, members of the judiciary:

  • His Honour Judge Teague QC
  • His Honour Judge Lamb QC
  • His Honour Judge David Grant
  • His Honour Judge Henry
  • His Honour Judge Seed QC
  • His Honour Judge Christopher Parker QC
  • His Honour Judge¬†Graham Wood QC
  • His Honour Judge Rowland
  • His Honour Judge Lawrie QC
  • His Honour Judge Hiddleston
  • Tribunal Judge Chamberlain
  • District Judge Buckley-Clarke
  • Tribunal Judge Sutherland Williams
  • District Judge Sweeney

(Retired)

  • The Right Honourable Sir Maurice Kay
  • Sir Thayne Forbes
  • His Honour John Beashel DL
  • His Honour David Harris QC
  • His Honour Derwin Hope
  • His Honour Philip Raynor QC