Responding to recent court experiences described by barrister Alexandra Wilson, Amanda Pinto QC, Chair of the Bar Council, said: “The experiences barrister Alexandra Wilson describes are appalling. No one should be treated that way whether in their workplace, including when turning up at court to represent their client, or anywhere else. With regret, I fear Alexandra’s experience is not a one off. Many barristers have to put up with the prejudiced assumptions of others – Alexandra has done so with exemplary grace and patience. I am speaking directly with HMCTS, the senior judiciary and the CPS immediately, urging more to be done to stamp out this behaviour.
“The barristers’ profession is always striving to be more representative of the society it serves. There is more to do to change the perception of the Bar, but that is no excuse for the kind of attitudes and remarks described. We are not all white, middle class men. We come from diverse backgrounds and have made it to the Bar on merit, not who we know. The Bar Council’s ‘I am the Bar’ campaign highlights some of the different backgrounds of those in our profession. Clearly more needs to be done now by those working alongside barristers to guard against anything like this happening again.”