Conference aims to help students understand Bar

Geoffrey Robertson QC's Doughty Street chambers is boosting its criminal practice by taking on four additional barristers.

David Farrington and David Bentley join the chambers from Andrew Mitchell's chambers at 171 Fleet Street. The addition of Paul Bogan from David Barnard's chambers at 33 Bedford Row and Hugh Barton from Walter Aylen QC's chambers in the Hardwicke Building will bring the number of criminal barristers at Doughty Street up to 24.

The chambers is to improve its maternity arrangements, giving mothers a six-month rent free period in contrast to the standard Bar Council rate of three months. In addition mothers receive a credit of half their previous year's contribution to chambers.

OXFORD law students are organising a mini-conference next month to plug the gap between their academic work and the reality of life in the Bar.

"There is a lot of confusion amongst students about the Bar," joint president elect of the university's law society Anneli Howard says.

"Everyone is dealing out contradictory advice. Our only source of information is provided by academic tutors and university careers departments. Both of these are too remote to be of real help."

The event will focus on women and the Bar and be addressed by Presiley Baxendale QC, Nicola Davies QC, Ruth Downing and Sarah Ward from the Association of Women