Top solicitors join Bar

TWO high-profile solicitors from very different legal fields have joined well-known chambers after deciding to transfer to the Bar.

Stephen Cragg, the Public Law Project's most senior solicitor, and Linklaters & Paines partner James Flynn are the latest solicitor converts to the Bar.

Cragg has taken up a pupillage at the civil liberties set 2 Garden Court while Flynn, who was based at Linklaters' Brussels office, has joined the specialist EC law set Brick Court Chambers.

Both lawyers cite their desire to concentrate on advocacy as the principle reason behind their moves and agree it is difficult for solicitors both to win and then to enjoy rights of audience.

Stephen Cragg made a name for himself at the Public Law Project, where he co-ordinated several high profile judicial review actions.

He said he was leaving the Public Law Project at a time when it was going from strength to strength but that he now wanted to concentrate on advocacy.

"What strikes me about the change is that now I have more time to concentrate on cases, and on the tactics which need to be employed."

James Flynn, who has spent three years as legal secretary at the European Court, initially qualified as a barrister before joining Linklaters, where he specialised in EC competition law.

At Brick Court Chambers he will be based in London where he hopes to work in variety of EC related fields.

"In Brussels I was dealing mainly with the European Commission in its regulatory capacity. I wasn't really dealing with the advances in the law which are happening in the English courts and in Luxembourg," he said.

He said that the flexibility he would enjoy as a barrister meant he could be involved in a greater variety of work than the typical City solicitor advocate.