Two Burges Salmon lawyers have joined two Bristol chambers in order to specialise in advocacy
Commercial litigation lawyer James Pearce-Smith has joined St John's Chambers as a 'third-six' pupil. Such pupils have traditionally completed 12 months of pupillages and have been unable to find tenancy or need to develop additional skills before being hired as a tenant. Pearce-Smith will not begin fee-earning until he has completed two months of his pupillage. Commercial lawyer William Batstone also recently joined Guildhall Chambers as a pupil in order to specialise in advocacy. St John's is widely regarded as one of the leading Western Circuit chambers and claims that 30 per cent of its work is commercial related. The moves are good news for the bar, which is concerned about barristers being squeezed out by the growth of solicitor advocates. Chief executive Kate Blackburn said: "James was doing advocacy at Burges Salmon and decided it was what he wanted to do, so he decided to do it full time. There's a pattern of that building up. Some youngsters want to become solicitors first and then move to the bar because of the financial and training benefits."