Capital chambers seek pastures new in America

LONDON barristers are considering career moves to the US as competition in the City hots up.

Some 30 barristers travelled to the American Bar Association conference in New Orleans last month and a number of them realised there was life outside the Inns of Court.

Amanda Green, of 3 Gray's Inn Place, who was at the ABA conference, says: “There is a lot of pressure on London chambers these days, some of it coming from America. It's not often that barristers get a chance to look at what's on the other side of the fence.” But she says nothing about wanting to work abroad herself.

Another barrister says: “At the moment, there are some very attractive opportunities in the US. American law firms are looking for advocates who can work in English law.”

But a senior partner from a City law firm warns against UK lawyers taking jobs with US rivals. Robert Derry-Evans of McKenna & Co says: “They offer you a lot. They say the hours won't be any different, but then the reality hits you and you find yourself working all the hours God sends.”