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 all linked by technology. Today, 3PB is the third largest chambers in the UK with over 250 barristers practising from the set.

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 KC (later Mr Justice Maule) in leaving a lighted candle by his bedside. They were immediately rebuilt in the stonework seen today.

Watch 3PB Chief Executive Simon Astill describe the history of the set

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.

Our Story

  • 2024

    3PB recruits its 250th member

  • 2023

    3PB Barristers becomes home to over 225 members - and is still growing...

  • 2021

    3PB Barristers - and the rest of the country - emerge from lockdown in good shape

  • 2019

    David Berkley KC becomes Head of Chambers with Gavin Hamilton as Deputy Head of Chambers.

  • 2018

    3PB reaches the 200 barristers mark following a period of significant growth

  • 2017

    180+ Members across six offices in London, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Oxford, Winchester

  • 2016

    Birmingham office opens, Simon Astill joins as CEO and Nigel Lickley KC becomes Head of Chambers

  • 2014

    150 Members. Chambers reaches significant size as it develops into a truly national set.

  • 2005

    Bristol office opens. 3PB's reach on the Western Circuit is strengthened by the opening of a South West centre.

  • 2002

    in the Queen's Jubilee year 3PB hits reaches 100 barristers working across the South of England.

  • 1990

    Winchester and Oxford office opens. Chambers expands further across the Western Circuit.

  • 1983

    3PB begins to grow reaching 25 members in the era of big hair and red braces.

  • 1973

    Bournemouth office opens. 3PB finds a home on the South Coast. Just in time for a decade of all things Cool Britannia.

  • 1898

    John Galsworthy, Nobel prize winning author of the Forsyth Saga starts and ends his first story at 3 Paper Buildings.

Former Members

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

  • His Honour Judge Rufus Taylor
  • His Honour Judge Nigel Lickley KC
  • His Honour Judge Teague KC
  • His Honour Judge Henry
  • His Honour Judge Seed KC
  • His Honour Judge Christopher Parker KC
  • His Honour Judge Graham Wood KC
  • His Honour Judge Rowland
  • His Honour Judge Lawrie KC
  • His Honour Judge Hiddleston
  • Upper Tribunal Judge Jones
  • Tribunal Judge Chamberlain
  • District Judge Buckley-Clarke
  • Upper Tribunal Judge Sutherland Williams
  • His Honour Judge Sweeney
  • Employment Judge Dawson
  • Her Honour Judge Kushner
  • Her Honour Judge Barlow
  • Her Honour Judge Rowley
  • Senior Coroner David Reid
  • Tribunal Judge Bussey-Jones
  • His Honour Judge Walsh
  • His Honour Judge Feest KC
  • Her Honour Judge Talbot-Hadley
  • Her Honour Judge Ruth Henke KC
  • His Honour Judge David Richards
  • The Right Honourable Sir Maurice Kay
  • Sir Thayne Forbes
  • His Honour John Beashel DL
  • His Honour David Harris KC
  • His Honour Derwin Hope
  • His Honour Philip Raynor KC
  • His Honour David Grant
  • His Honour Timothy Lamb KC
Former Heads of Chambers include
  • Nigel Lickley KC
  • Ian Lawrie KC
  • Richard Tyson
  • Tim Lamb KC and Richard Tyson
  • Michael Parroy KC
  • Maurice Kay KC
  • Patrick Back KC