Inns of Court revolution hits Middle Temple

MIDDLE Temple is in the throes of a major review to prepare it for the 21st century.

The treasurer of the Inn, Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, has asked a selection of senior benchers, including Lord Alexander of Weedon, the chair of NatWest Bank, to draw up a series of policy papers.

They will be incorporated into a proposed reform package which will go before the Inn's parliament in November.

The Inns of Court are in the middle of a period of unprecedented change. This year, for the first time, the Inns of Court School of Law has lost its monopoly on barristers' training.

And earlier this year the Bar Council and Inns agreed to abolish the centuries-old tradition whereby Bar students were required to dine 18 times at their Inns before they could be called to the Bar.

Instead they will be required to attend 12 educational events organised by the Inns.

Under-treasurer Charles Wright said: “As things change, the Inns of Court have to look at where they are going.

“One of the things we'll be looking at is the advocacy training we provide to pupil barristers. It is one of our strengths and we would like to build on that.”