All too often we hear that people see the Bar as a closed shop, says Amy Smith, a barrister at 9 St John Street, but “diversity at the bar really does matter,” she says in her guest blog for BarTalk, which is why the new 9SJS Access Award initiative aims to give those thinking about a career at the Bar a deep insight into what life can be like as a barrister and play its part in improving diversity in the profession
Although there are greater numbers of women getting fraud work at the junior end, we are a long way from parity, writes Chair of the Bar, Amanda Pinto QC
Barrister Tim Kiely, who manages a general criminal practice at Red Lion Chambers, looks back on 2020 - “not a year that some of us expected to survive” – giving a perspective from the junior end of the Bar
Mina Heung of Whitestone Chambers and member of the Bar Council’s International Committee, recently interviewed the Chair of the Council of the Hong Kong Bar Association, Philip Dykes SC, for his views on the key regulations in place in Hong Kong to assist with preventing the spread of Covid-19
Stephen Cragg QC, barrister and Vice-Chair of the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales, guest blogs for BarTalk on International Human Rights Day (10 December) on why protecting human rights and role of human rights defenders is as important as ever today
The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Rt Hon Robert Buckland MP, guest blogs on the coronavirus pandemic and how this shaped his priorities for the recent 2020 Spending Review
Oliver Brewis, winner of the 2020 Law Reform Essay Competition, guest blogs for the Bar Council on his winning essay.
Isabel Baylis gives tips for how chambers and other organisations can ensure applicants with disabilities aren't blocked off from showing their potential in recruitment processes.
Sarah Atkinson, CEO of the Social Mobility Foundation, guest blogs for BarTalk on socioeconomic diversity in the legal profession, singling out the only chambers that ranked in the 2020 Social Mobility Index and giving three reasons why more chambers must join them in participating in the Index next year.
Chair of the International Committee of the Bar Council, Steven Thompson QC, chaired a panel discussion entitled “Leading the Charge” at last week’s Annual Bar and Young Bar Conference, featuring speakers with huge experience in crime, commercial, chancery and family in the international sphere who set out their visions for the future
Sean Wilson, senior lawyer at the Government Legal Department and Chair of its Race Network writes about his journey to the Bar and overcoming feelings of being an outsider
Global legal tech company, ABC Legal Services’ Sascha Mehlhase, Radley Angelo and Brandon Fuller discuss how the pandemic has rapidly pushed forward technological advances that were not a priority for the legal sector in the past. They look at what it means for access to justice and practitioners
Rebecca Lawrence, CEO of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), writes for Bar Talk about the work the CPS is doing to improve diversity and proportionality on the CPS external advocate panel
New research has found that most UK courts are not accessible for the disabled. However, a new, digital tool could help disabled court users overcome some of the hurdles they face in accessing justice, says Greenlight’s Hasna Haidar
Laurie-Anne Power of 25 Bedford Row and the Bar Council’s Race Working Group looks at the equality and diversity benefits of using the Bar Council’s Pupillage Gateway, and its role in promoting an accessible and inclusive profession.
Sophie Garner, barrister and mediator at St Philips Chambers, writes about how the Bar Council is using Talk to Spot to paint a picture of how barristers are being put at risk in court, and how you can help real action to be taken.
With the arrival of the newly-formed Themis: The Intersectional Women Barristers' Alliance, its three co-founders, Margherita Cornaglia, Ailsa McKeon and Luna Spada, guest blog for BarTalk on why intersectionality is so important in pushing for equal opportunities, equal access to the Bar and equal progression within the profession
Dominic Lewis and Alexandra Robson, of the Bar Council’s Law Reform Committee, look at the benefits expected of the new Sentencing Code, which began as a vast area of work for the Law Commission, and is now awaiting Royal Assent.
Adeola Fadipe, pupil barrister at Outer Temple Chambers, writes about things she learnt when setting up her own diversity initiative, BME Legal, which can help chambers to recruit and retain diverse talent
Karen Kabweru-Namulemu, Midland Circuit rep on the Bar Council’s Race Working Group, writes about local initiatives to improve racial diversity and access to the Bar in the Midlands.
Jack Meek, pupil barrister at the Government Legal Department, writes about his experience with social mobility and his journey from Northern Ireland to the GLD, as well as why he feels an affinity with the Broadway musical “Hamilton”.
Nigel Wallis, Director, O’Connors Legal Services Limited, looks at how in the face of legal aid cuts, the impact of the pandemic, the rise of public access and other factors, BSB entities might now be the way forward for the Bar in future.
CEO of MD Communications, Melissa Davis, who prompted one-time novice turned titan of Twitter, Gerard McDermott QC to join social media, looks at how the way that barristers use social media has changed and provides tips with input from the Bar's top Twitterati on what those aspiring to build a brand on social media can learn from those already using it.
Barrister, Sarah Phillimore guest blogs on the challenges faced as a disabled barrister and how the physical environment of most courts, and the journeys to them, act as a barrier to the physically disabled.
Michael Ivers QC, Membership Secretary of the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales, guest blogs on the increasingly concerning crackdown on dissent in Zimbabwe and what it means for human rights and the rule of law in the country.
Toby Cadman of Guernica 37 Chambers and the Bar Council’s International Committee continues the focus on Covid-19 in South America, this time considering the position in Colombia.
A recent LPMA and IBC survey found that chambers have seen very little increase in the number of members returning to the office.
Frederico Singarajah of Hardwicke Chambers and the Bar Council's International Committee considers the rule of law position in Brazil.
Jonathan Dingle and Andrea Barnes, Joint Heads of Chambers at Normanton Chambers and Society of Mediators Course Leaders, explain why it's worth taking the Bar Council's exceptional accredited mediator training course.
Guest blog: How will restricting jury trial and reducing jury numbers affect the delivery of justice?
Tana Adkin QC, barrister at Charter Chambers and member of the Bar Councils Retention Panel, looks in-depth at the many reasons why jury trials should not be tampered with
Even the language used by referees in legal directories is gender-biased, says Melissa Davis, CEO of MD Communications, but efforts are already being made in the legal sector to challenge this subconscious bias in language, which can act as a barrier for women in law looking to progress their careers
The Bar Council’s International Committee member, David O’Mahony, argues that Hong Kong’s national security law contains provisions that are incompatible with the rule of law
David O’Mahony of the Bar Council's International Committee and barrister at 7 Bedford Row, assesses the unfolding and complex situation in India, raising concerns as to the legal basis for the powers being exercised and the way in which they are being enforced in light of Covid-19
Simon Milnes of the Bar Council's International Committee, barrister at Twenty Essex, highlights that there is no sign of the Executive in Taiwan seeking to use the pandemic as a pretext for increasing its powers or weakening the rule of law
The Attorney General, Suella Braverman QC MP, guest blogs on plans to change the guidelines on disclosure and the CPIA Code in order to restore the public’s confidence in the administration of the criminal justice system.
Yvonne Kramo, Black Protest Legal Support UK (BPLS) committee member, writes on how hundreds of BPLS legal observers have been assisting Black Lives Matter protestors
Sailesh Mehta of Red Lion Chambers writes about how social mobility has changed since he came to the Bar and the impact Covid-19 is having on progress across the profession
In the first of a series of articles on international perspectives on the rule of law in light of Covid-19, barrister David Owusu-Yianoma focuses on Ghana
Read the latest update from Katherine Duncan & Joanne Kane, Chair and Vice-Chair of the Bar Council's Young Barristers’ Committee (YBC) on why young barristers need to take action to protect chambers from financial collapse and back a new campaign
Iain MacDonald, Chair of the Bar Council’s Restarting Criminal Justice Working Group gives an exclusive look behind the scenes into the work of the group and the options for bringing back jury trials safely and quickly.
Katherine Duncan and Joanne Kane, Chair and Vice-Chair respectively of the Bar Council's Young Barristers’ Committee (YBC)
Steven Thompson QC, Chair of the Bar Council’s International Committee
Christopher Convey, Chair of the Bar Council’s Money Laundering Working Group
Guest blog: Susan Acland-Hood, CEO, HMCTS - Uniting to tackle coronavirus in our courts and tribunals
Susan Acland-Hood, Chief Executive, HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS), guest blogs for BarTalk on how HMCTS is in constant dialogue with the Bar and others to make sure the courts and tribunals keep running despite the Covid-19 crisis.
Read the latest update from Katherine Duncan & Joanne Kane, Chair and Vice-Chair of the Young Barristers’ Committee (YBC) on their progress to ensure the safety of young barristers and pupils during the times of COVID-19
Katherine Duncan & Joanne Kane, Chair and Vice-Chair of the Young Barristers’ Committee (YBC) share how they work to ensure the safety of young barristers and pupils during the times of COVID-19
Susan Acland-Hood, CEO, HM Courts & Tribunals Service, blogs exclusively for BarTalk on the latest developments in the courts to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic
Aspiring barristers shouldn't have to pay for help when preparing for pupillage interviews, says the Bar Council's Young Barristers' Committee
Joanne Kane, Vice Chair of the Bar Council's Young Barristers' Committee (YBC) looks in more detail at 'legal design sprints'
The Bar Council’s Melanie Mylvaganam, Policy Manager: Regulatory Affairs, Law Reform and Ethics and Eleanore Hughes, Policy Analyst: Regulatory Affairs, Law Reform and Ethics, give an overview of the issues discussed at a recent forum.
Stuart Jessop, barrister at 6 Pump Court blogs on whether his polytechnic background was a benefit or a barrier to gaining pupillage and whether the Bar needs to look more closely on whether it recruits on potential or on other factors such as age, race, gender, what school or university you went to
See a snapshot of the Bar Council's work in our feature "Five things the Bar Council did” and read the top five picks from February
The Bar Council’s Head of Services, Carolyn Entwistle, and Policy Analyst, Stuart McMillan, recently attended The Society of Mediators’ Foundation Mediation course to better understand the place of mediation in today’s legal market.
Guest blog: Solicitor General, Rt Hon Michael Ellis QC MP - Legal education can empower young people
Teaching young people about the law will create a more empowered generation
See a snapshot of the Bar Council's work in our feature "Five things the Bar Council did” and read the top five picks from January
Bar Council policy experts Melanie Mylvaganam and Stuart McMillan discuss the ethical and regulatory implications of the introduction of AI into the legal market, as well as the potential dangers.
Katherine Duncan, Chair of the Bar Council's Young Barristers' Committee, blogs on what the YBC has in store for newcomers to the profession in 2020
Patrick Duffy, barrister and member of the Bar Council's International Committee, blogs ahead of the Day of the Endangered Lawyer (Friday 24 January) on why the dangers lawyers face in Pakistan and elsewhere across the world has consequences for the rule of law.
The Young Barristers’ Committee vision for 2020
End of year round-up of highlights from the Diversity & Inclusion and CSR Policy team (which includes Education, Young Bar and Employed Bar).
End of year round-up of highlights from the International Policy team.
End of year round-up of highlights from the Law Reform, Regulatory Affairs and Ethics Policy team.
Andrew Granville Stafford, member of the Bar Council, the Bar Council Ethics Committee and Chair of the Bar Council’s Direct Access Panel, blogs on new developments that public access barristers need to be aware of, including a new client care letter.
End of year round-up of highlights from the Legal Practice and Remuneration Policy team.
The winner of this year’s Bar Council Law Reform essay competition, Penny Tridimas, guest blog on how the world of arbitration could learn from civil procedure to overcome shortcomings
Barrister-at-law Karen Safo on what you can do to foster inclusion at the Bar
Barrister Miranda Grell of 10 King’s Bench Walk Chambers guest blogs for BarTalk in Black History Month on the progress as well as the remaining challenges in diversity at the Bar.
Karen Safo, barrister at law and human rights activist, asks in her guest blog for BarTalk whether initiatives aimed at diversifying the profession are enough and that becoming a barrister is about feeling included and a sense of belonging
Abimbola Johnson, barrister at 25 Bedford Row, writes in BarTalk on why it is important for non-black members of the profession to consider how they view Black History Month, particularly if their workplace and social circle is not particularly diverse.
Mass Ndow-Njie, pupil barrister at the Government Legal Department, blogs about valuing what makes you different to secure pupillage.
Barrister and 2018 Bar Council Social Mobility Advocate, Natasha Shotunde explains how the ‘I Am the Bar’ campaign was just the beginning in promoting equality and making the profession more accessible
Axis Solicitors take a look at the latest developments in Calais for migrants, many of whom are asylum seekers trying to reach the UK, and how their rights need to be taken into account.
Transparency Project blogs for the Bar Council on how a new pilot is taking place which will allow lawyers to attend court “for journalistic, research or public legal educational purposes”.
Immigration solicitor Anne Morris and barrister Patrick Lewis ask how UK immigration reform and a no deal Brexit will be achievable when the Home Office and immigration courts are already struggling under the current status quo
"The reason I want to be a barrister is this: the feeling of being able to guide people through what will probably be the highest highs of their lives, or their lowest lows"
The Legal Aid Agency’s (LAA) Antony Leal guest blogs for BarTalk on the progress made in key meetings between the LAA, the Bar Council and Family Law Bar Association
What's in a name? Commercial Director Dr Isabel DiVanna is looking for a new, more appropriate name for the Bar Representation Fee (BRF)
Highlights from the first of an innovative approach to making the profession more socially mobile
New approach to gaining insights to the Bar
Susan Acland-Hood, Chief Executive of HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) on working with the Bar Council on improving court security and easier access for legal professionals
Andrew Granville Stafford, Chair of the Direct Access Panel blogs on the new BSB rules aiming to improve transparency in the areas of price, service and redress for the benefit of barristers’ clients.
Dr Isabel DiVanna, Commercial Director at the Bar Council explains why the support barristers have pledged to the Bar Council is so important.
Radcliffe Chambers barrister Kate Selway tells us about a new chambers diversity initiative which she helped to develop and which recently won “Bar diversity and inclusion initiative of the year” at this year’s Diversity Legal Awards.
J.S. von Dacre of the Immigration Advice Service guest blogs for the Bar Council on the government’s new Domestic Abuse Bill and gives an analysis of the protections the Bill provides for refugee and migrant victims of domestic abuse.
An international delegation of lawyers led by the Colombia Caravana (UK), coordinated with the Bar Human Rights Committee (England & Wales) and the Faculty of Advocates' Human Rights and Rule of Law Committee (Scotland), supported by the Alliance for Lawyers at Risk, is in Colombia this week to observe final hearings in the case 'Los Doce Apostoles'. The victim's family are represented by Daniel Prado Albarracin, a Colombian human rights lawyer who has represented families of enforced disappearance since the early 1990s.
Carolyn Entwistle, the Bar Council's Head of Services to the Bar, answers questions about the work of the Bar Council
Barrister and social mobility advocate James Keeley and four other Middle Templers are running London
New Quay HR highlight what barristers’ chambers need to watch out for in 2019
Get your chambers’ views heard by the Bar Council
Law Fairs: a guest blog by Rose Malleson, Policy Assistant, Bar Council
Legal professional privilege at our borders
GDPR blog: Chapter One
We want to know what we can do to encourage you to keep supporting our work for years to come, says Dr Isabel DiVanna, the Bar Council’s Commercial Director.
Thoughts on the 100th year of women in law
Sam Mercer, the Bar Council’s Head of Equality & Diversity and CSR, sets out three initiatives the Bar Council will be focusing on in 2019 to support the profession in becoming a more diverse Bar in the future.
In their first blog as new leaders of the Bar, Chair of the Bar Richard Atkins QC and Vice Chair Amanda Pinto QC jointly launch the 100th edition of BarTalk and explain why the centenary – and gender equality – matters to the whole Bar.
Australian perspectives of the first 100 years
Five minutes with Dana Denis-Smith, Founder of the First 100 Years Project
Athena Markides, Chair of the Young Barristers' Committee of the Bar Council, answers 5 questions on her thoughts around women at the Bar and her own professional icon.