The Bar

Virtual barristers’ chambers hires first silk

Since launching as a virtual set in the summer, Addington Chambers has increased its total headcount to 11 and has hired its first silk. Michael Ashe QC SC, who was called to the Bar in 1978, joins the set from 9 Stone Buildings where he built a practice focused on company law, financial services and […]

barrister wig

Cornerstone expels barrister after Twitter race row

Cornerstone Barristers have voted to expel a member from chambers after claiming his statements on Twitter were “irreconcilable” with the set. Cornerstone’s decision to dismiss Jon Holbrook, who was called to the Bar in 1991, was confirmed on Sunday morning and was the result of a chambers meeting where members voted to expel following an […]

Eight sets from The Lawyer’s Bar Top 30 still claiming furlough cash

Nearly a third of The Lawyer‘s Bar Top 30 issued furlough claims through the UK Government’s coronavirus job retention scheme last month, according to new data released by HMRC. 39 Essex Chambers, Outer Temple and Landmark were just three of the eight Top 30 sets to have been named in the list. Some of the […]

barrister wig

Cornerstone launches investigation in response to member’s tweet

Cornerstone Barristers has said it “repudiates the contents” of a tweet made by one of its members, with the set launching an internal investigation into the matter. The tweet was made by Jon Holbrook, who was called to the Bar in 1991. Cornerstone said the post, published on 17 January, was brought to its attention […]

Essex Court takes on A&O arbitration silk

Long-serving Allen & Overy (A&O) partner Matthew Gearing QC is set to leave private practice for a new career at the Bar, with Essex Court Chambers securing his services. From one magic circle to another, Gearing will officially join Essex Court on 3 May 2021. Gearing has spent almost 25 years at A&O, over half […]

Twenty Essex, Matrix and Monckton barristers among those selected for Brexit panel

A number of high-profile arbitrators have been appointed by the UK Government to hear disputes that relate to the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. There is a string of UK-based silks and juniors among the 25-strong panel, which includes barristers from Brick Court, Monckton Chambers and Essex Court. The panel consists of five individuals […]

barrister wig

QC appointments revealed – as 116 make the grade

A total of 116 new silks have been announced by the Lord Chancellor today, with Essex Court, Brick Court and Doughty Street among the sets to benefit. This is a slight rise on last year’s tally of 114. The inclusion of 40 women, from 72 applicants, is a significant increase on last year’s total of […]

rugby team sport

39 Essex silk joins legal team bringing landmark rugby dementia claim

A silk from 39 Essex Chambers will be working alongside Rylands Law for an impending lawsuit against World Rugby, England Rugby (RFU) and Wales Rugby Union (WRU), with the organisations facing accusations of negligence. Instructed by Rylands Law solicitor Richard Boardman, Susan Rodway QC (Call: 1981) will be representing the ex-England and Wales international rugby […]

diversity group network

Brick Court and 4 Pump Court sign Charter for Black Talent

Brick Court and 4 Pump Court have signed a charter aiming to address inequality in the City, joining the likes of Herbert Smith Freehills, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Allen & Overy, KPMG and PwC. The chambers are the first sets to sign the Charter for Black Talent in Finance and Professions, which is the brainchild of […]

gender balance, male, female

Leadership, investment and wise counsel: how to gender-balance the Bar

A recent Horizon article from The Lawyer, “All those brilliant brains at the bar and they still can’t solve this problem” provided plenty of data to suggest that women and barristers from minority ethnic backgrounds earn less than their white, male counterparts.  Few surprises there.  We’ve long been reading about imbalances at the bar: between […]

Keating Chambers

The Lawyer Awards 2020: Who won Chambers team of the year?

Construction and energy set Keating Chambers scooped the top chambers award, sponsored by Bench Walk Advisors, at The Lawyer Awards 2020 last week. Keating is predominantly a construction law set with its members involved in several significant cases, including phase 2 of the Grenfell Tower Enquiry. Construction is the bedrock of Keating’s practice but it is the set’s growing presence in international […]

christopher bellamy

Linklaters’ competition veteran heads back to the Bar

The longtime chairman of Linklaters’ global competition practice is going back to Monckton Chambers after 13 years at the magic circle firm. At Monckton, Christopher Bellamy QC will focus on arbitration and mediation, working on matters around competition and regulations. Bellamy had been at the magic circle firm since 2007; he first joined as a […]

The Lawyer Awards: the Chambers of the Year shortlist

It has been another pivotal year for the UK’s elite chambers, which help make London a global destination for resolving the largest disputes. The sets shortlisted for this year’s Chambers of the Year category, sponsored by Bench Walk Advisors, have strategically invested in growing their business to help them attract the most significant mandates at home and […]

Outer Temple appoint first female head of chambers

Outer Temple has voted in a new head of chambers, following the retirement of Christopher Gibson QC earlier this year. Gibson will be replaced by Sarah Crowther QC – who is the set’s first female head of chambers. She has also been appointed as Outer Temple’s head of health. Crowther was called to the Bar […]

Attorney General accused of “cronyism” over off-panel Brexit advice

The Prime Minister’s Attorney General is facing criticism over her decision to seek advice on planned changes to the Withdrawal Agreement from individuals not on the UK Government’s panels, including a “baby barrister” from Brick Court. The debate concerns advice given to Suella Braverman and solicitor general Michael Ellis, who provided legal opinion on government legislation […]

Charter Chambers becomes latest victim of Covid-19

Charter Chambers is to close its doors from 30 October, due to the coronavirus pandemic combined with the impending sale of its premises. The criminal set, which is home to 47 barristers including six silks, as well as seven clerks, has occupied 33 John Street for 15 years. It is owned by a Pension Trust […]

Debevoise partner decamps to the Bar after three years

A partner at Debevoise & Plimpton has left the firm to join Twenty Essex, three years after joining the US firm. Wendy Miles QC will join the set after 24 years in private practice. She initially spent two years at Russell McVeagh before joining WilmerHale in 1999. She became a partner in 2005 and left […]

royal courts of justice

Covid-19 triggers rise in commercial court settlements

The commercial court is experiencing a significant hike in settlements, with the rate of parties reaching out-of-court agreements up by 15 per cent. The court’s analysis revealed that this year’s settlement rate is close to 75 per cent, as opposed to a normal percentage that sits between 60 and 65 per cent. The figures, as […]

Stonewall Pride

Barrister slams legal crowdfunding platform in transgender rights row

A criminal barrister’s fight against her own chambers and Stonewall took an unexpected turn today, as Allison Bailey criticised a crowdfunding platform for removing her page without warning. Bailey, who has so far raised over £60,000 to fund her Employment Tribunal claim against Garden Court Chambers and the charity, published a comprehensive Twitter post on […]

Charles Banner QC, Keating

Keating Chambers snags Heathrow silk from Landmark

Keating Chambers has snagged a silk from Landmark Chambers, with Charles Banner QC joining the set. Banner is an English and Irish qualified barrister, who took silk last year and was the youngest in his cohort, aged 38. His recent instructions include high profile judicial reviews concerning the HS2 and Stansted Airport Expansion projects, the […]

Stonewall Pride

Barrister raises £60,000 in fight against own chambers and Stonewall

A criminal defence barrister has instructed Slater & Gordon partner Peter Daly and 11KBW’s Aileen McColgan QC after bringing a case against her own chambers and LGBT charity Stonewall. Allison Bailey, who is a member of Garden Court Chambers, has so far raised over £60,000 in crowdfunding for her Employment Tribunal claim, arguing that she […]

St Philips appoints former Bar chief as new head of chambers

St Philips Chambers has appointed a new head of chambers in Birmingham, with Andrew Smith QC stepping down. The set has appointed Richard Atkins QC (call 1981) as its new head. Atkins was previously the chair of the Bar of England and Wales in 2019 and leader of the Midland Circuit of three years between […]

Hull city

Seven barristers leave Hull’s Wilberforce Chambers for new venture

A seven-strong team of barristers have left Wilberforce Barristers Chambers in Hull to set up a new family and criminal set in the city. Crown Chambers was launched this month, with Wilberforce’s Naomi Madderson heading up the set. She is joined by six other barristers in the Hull-headquartered family law chambers. Madderson is joined at […]

Blackstone reveals trio of hires after recruitment pause

Three barristers have joined Blackstone Chambers, including a public law silk from Doughty Street. The set had paused targeted recruitment juniors but has now started to hire again with two joiners from Littleton Chambers and Cloisters. The set had also paused targeted recruitment of commercial juniors at the outset of the pandemic but this has […]

After 100 years, female barristers finally get their own outfitter

A Doughty Street junior has set up the first legal outfitter dedicated to designing courtwear for women. Karlia Lykourgou has set up Ivy & Normanton, which is named after Ivy Williams – the first woman to be called to the Bar in May 1922 and Helena Normanton, who was the second woman to be called. […]


City firms set for arbitration boom as disputes teams predict court backlog

Arbitration has moved up the agenda at major City firms. The silk appointments in January showed how much international arbitration has become a key part of the disputes’ arsenal.  Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Nigel Blackaby, Herbert Smith Freehills’ Simon Chapman, Andrew McDougall of White & Case and Clifford Chance partner Jason Fry all took silk earlier […]