Law Reform Essay Competition

The Bar Council's Law Reform Essay Competition is aimed at developing and fostering an interest in law reform. The competition invites entrants to submit a 3,000 word essay making the case for a reform to English, Welsh or European law.

2022 Law Reform Essay Competition

The 2022 Law Reform Essay Competition will be opening soon. We will update this page with further information on how to apply when the competition is launched. 

Further information about previous essay competitions can be seen below.

2021 Law Reform Essay Competition winners


Find out more

Find out more about the competition by watching the Law Reform Essay Competition video.


This annual competition is sponsored by the Bar Council Scholarships Trust and coordinated by the Bar Council. It offers prizes in the following categories:

  • £4,000 for the winner
  • £2,500 for the runner up
  • £1,500 for the best CPE/GDL entry
  • £1,000 for the runner up CPE/GDL entry
  • 2 x £500 highly commended award

We hope that the prize money will be used to contribute to the legal education or legal career of the prize winners.

Who can apply?

The competition is open to anyone undertaking the academic or vocational stage of training for the Bar (including those studying for a law degree, GDL or the vocational component), those currently seeking or completing pupillage, and those in the process of transferring to the Bar.

Details of the 2022 competition will be published here when available.

Previous winners


Winner: Penny Tridimas - "The Long and the Short of It: Introducing a Summary Procedure for the Dismissal of Unmeritorious Claims in the Arbitration Act 1996"
Read Penny's blog

Runner-up: Zohra Nabi - "The SLAPPback starts now: Why legislation must be introduced to prevent the abuse of the law of defamation"
Best CPE/GDL: Benjamin Williams - "With (McKenzie) Friends Like These: Prohibiting Fee Recovery by McKenzie Friends"
Runner-up CPE/GDL: Katherine Boucher - "Redressing the Balance: The Case for the Reform of Trustee Liability in Transactions with Third Parties"
Highly commended: Rich Hodges - "In the best interest of the child? Prosecutions brought against Children under the Sexual Offences Act 2003"