The Bar of England and Wales is, first and foremost, an internationalist, outward-looking profession. We have always believed that forging partnerships with Bar associations across the world and building on common beliefs and themes is a means of strength and solidarity amongst colleagues. For many of us, it also means the opportunity to build our practices, and make new friends.

The Young Bar of England and Wales is no different – in fact, the need is even greater for junior practitioners who are hungry to develop their practices and make connections with their counterparts in Europe, the United States and beyond.

The Anglo-Dutch Exchange offers such an opportunity and, as Chair of the Young Barristers’ Committee, I am proud that we are once again hosting the Exchange alongside our counterparts in the Netherlands.

This year's Exchange will be held from Tuesday 4 to Friday 7 October.  The plans include:

Wednesday 5 October: The Hague
Thursday 6 October: Rotterdam
Friday 7 October: Amsterdam

Attendees will travel to Amsterdam via Eurostar, and be based there for the duration.

For many years, the Young Barristers’ Committee and the Young Bar Associations of Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam, have organized this biennial event for young lawyers and we are very pleased to continue this great tradition between our jurisdictions.

If you need evidence of the Exchange’s popularity and success, you can rest assured in that it has been running in one form or another since 1966 – nearly 60 years.

The Bar Council is asking for any barristers of under 7 years’ practice who are interested in taking part in the exchange to register their interest by emailing: [email protected].

Here are five reasons why young barristers should get involved:

  1. Meet new colleagues and find new work: career development is on the minds of all junior barristers and the ADE is a chance to meet lawyers in other jurisdictions and potentially discover new workstreams.
  2. Be a part of something greater: in today’s climate the need to remain closely aligned with our European colleagues, championing the rule of law and the legal structures that have secured democracy and prosperity in Europe, are even more paramount. You can be a part of this through ADE.
  3. Learn about a rich legal culture: the Netherlands has a longstanding legal tradition, including a proud international and commercial outlook and is one of the most pro-English language jurisdictions outside of the Common Law countries. The Hague is the home of international criminal law; in Amsterdam, the Netherlands Commercial Court is leading the way in English-language dispute resolution.
  4. Get involved with the YBC: The YBC is the voice of the Young Bar. We are a highly supportive network of barristers and always welcome practitioners who want to get involved with the work we do. As part of ADE, you will have the opportunity meet the Chair and Vice Chair of the Young Barristers’ Committee and be a part of one of its flagship projects.
  5. Fun: ADE is an excellent opportunity to learn, broaden your horizons and meet other young practitioners, and focus on your own wellbeing with a little time away from your day-to-day practice. With a raft of networking events, you really will enjoy your time in the Netherlands.

This is a great opportunity for you to get to know another legal culture and strengthen their practice – and make some good friends along the way.

We very much hope to see you there.

Michael Polak, Chair, Young Barristers’ Committee

Michael Harwood, Vice Chair, Young Barristers’ Committee

Read more about the Anglo-Dutch Exchange Programme, and how you can get involved