LITTLETON Chambers is to sponsor a new Oxford University prize for the best employment law student.
The commercial set hit on the idea of organising the annual prize as a way of highlighting its own expertise in the employment law field.
Each year a panel of judges will nominate the best employment law student for the Littleton Chambers Labour Law Prize. The winner will receive an as yet unspecified cash sum.
The move is the latest of a series of initiatives undertaken by the chambers.
David Douglas, the set's chief executive, has conducted extensive research among the set's clients to determine how they want the set to change. His findings are in line with those of the research report commissioned by Newcourt Chambers (see above) – that specialisation is the best way forward for the set.
Three years ago the chambers set up its employment law group, which is headed by John Bowers and Andrew Clarke and regarded by the set as being "at the forefront of developments in employment law".
Since then the chambers has set up a further six groups.
All the groups meet regularly, and their members are kept up to date with the latest developments in the law – something chambers' clients viewed as essential.
"Barristers have to be able to add value to what the solicitor already knows," he said.
"It's no good a solicitor ringing up a barrister for advice and the barrister saying he or she will ring back in ten minutes. It will be obvious to the solicitor that the barrister isn't up to date with the law."