Today the Bar Council has launched a new project to foster dialogue, solidarity and support between barristers in England and Wales and Ukrainian lawyers.
This new initiative involves:
1) In relation to the UK Government's Homes for Ukraine Scheme, gathering names of barristers and judges who want to sponsor Ukrainian lawyers to come to the UK and where possible matching them with Ukrainian colleagues through our partnership with the Ukrainian National Bar Association and the Ukrainian Bar Association.
The Bar Council has already received names of Ukrainian lawyers and their families who want to come to the UK, and we have also been contacted by barristers and judges in England and Wales who want to sponsor Ukrainian lawyers.
2) Encouraging Chambers in England and Wales to identify possible projects and work opportunities for Ukrainian lawyers, who have decided to stay in Ukraine or who have fled to other countries.
3) Supporting various sister organisations, including the two Bar associations in Ukraine and those in other Eastern European countries who are closer to the front line.
4) Fostering a supportive dialogue between the Young Bar in England and Wales and its counterparts in Ukraine.
Mark Fenhalls QC, chair of the Bar Council, said: "Following the invasion The Bar Council has reached out to the leaders of the Ukrainian National Bar Association and the Ukrainian Bar Association because we want to help.
“It has been humbling to speak to men and women who have decided to stay and defend their country, let their families leave and who remain committed to their own legal practice. I am also encouraged by the compassion that has been shown and hope that everyone at the Bar will do whatever they can to offer support.”
The UK Government’s ‘Homes for Ukraine’ sponsorship is now open, offering Ukrainians a route to come to the UK and to stay with someone willing to provide them with a home.
Under Phase One of the scheme, sponsors in the UK must match with a named Ukrainian person or family.
If you are a barrister or judge and willing to sponsor a Ukrainian attempting to enter the UK, please could you email the Bar Council and provide the following information:
- Your full name
- The first half of your postcode
- How many people you would be willing to host in your home
- How many bedrooms you have available in your home
- Any requests/preferences of the individuals/families you sponsor (for example you might prefer children of a certain age if you have children, you may be prepared to accept pets)
- Whether you would sponsor non-lawyer Ukrainians (at this early stage we are likely to only match barristers and judges with Ukrainian lawyers as that will be the simplest cohort for the Ukrainian National Bar Association to identify)
Please return this information by e-mail to Ukraine@BarCouncil.org.uk.