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Bar Conference 2024

Friday 7 June

Evening drinks reception

Saturday 8 June

Exhibition opens


Welcome by Sam Townend KC, Chair of the Bar of England and Wales


Presentation of the Lifetime Achievement in Pro Bono: the Sydney Elland Goldsmith Award

Keynote address by the Lord Chancellor

Chair: Sam Townend KC, Chair of the Bar of England and Wales.
Speaker: The Rt Hon Alex Chalk KC MP, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice.

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The effectiveness and future of international courts

The number of international courts and tribunals has grown significantly in the last 30 years, dramatically affecting the fields of international law and international relations. On what measures should we assess their effectiveness? And, as the proposal for an international anti-corruption court gains momentum, what might the future hold?

Chair: Baroness Helena Kennedy of the Shaws
The Rt. Hon. Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, One Essex Court
Joanna Korner CMG KC, International Criminal Court (England and Wales representative)
Chris Stephen, Journalist and War Reporter


Lunch and exhibition

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Breakout sessions

At the conference, select from a choice of sessions during the breakout periods: 13:00-14:00 and 14:10-15:00. 


Option one

Culture at the Bar: Navigating Intergenerational Differences

There are currently four generations operating within the legal profession: Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z. Each of these generations views the Bar through the ‘lens’ of its own generational assumptions. Barristers from different generations work differently, communicate differently, and often hold very different expectations about work and its priorities.

As with other leading professions, if not addressed, a growing "chasm" can emerge between senior barristers and newer recruits, particularly when it comes to discussing issues around work-life balance, wellness, and mental health.

This presentation will provide a lively and engaging insight into workplace generational dynamics and a chance to reflect on how they are currently impacting on the legal profession.

Drawing on practical examples and the latest research, the presentation will explore how to build effective multi-generational teams while fostering an environment that accommodates diverse values and working styles.

This includes leveraging the strengths of both senior and junior members to enhance learning, mentorship, and professional development within the Bar.

Dr Paul Redmond is one of the UK’s leading experts on generational change and the future of work. He helps organisations and professionals worldwide acquire the skills and knowledge to thrive in today’s multi-generational workplace.

Speaker: Dr Paul Redmond, Director of Student Experience and Enhancement 


Option two
Let’s talk about money: how to have the right conversations about earnings and work allocation

Led by Rachel Krys, Equality and Diversity Consultant for the Bar Council, this practical workshop will look at the latest earnings data from across the Bar and considers the questions barristers should be asking to ensure their practice is in the right place. 

Whether you’re at the start of your career and want to make sure it’s on the right trajectory, wanting to better balance your practice with family commitments or looking to take silk, chambers collect data which can help you understand your practice better, and make more informed decisions about the work you do. This session will give you insights into the data you should be asking for to get the support you need.

Speaker: Rachel Krys, Equality and Diversity Consultant, Bar Council of England and Wales 


Option three
Futureproofing your practice through alternative dispute resolution

The growth of mediation and other non-court-based dispute resolution offers a variety of opportunities for barristers to diversify their work and look beyond the courtrooms of England and Wales. This session will consider the implications of the Court of Appeal judgment in Churchill v Merthyr Tydfil and explore opportunities for barristers to expand their domestic and international practices. 

Chair: Spenser Hilliard, Field Court Chambers, Chair of the Bar Council's Alternative Dispute Resolution Panel

Grace Cheng, 39 Essex Chambers
Andrew Day, St Ives Chambers
Michel Kallipetis KC, Quadrant Chambers
Andrew Parsons, Portsmouth Barristers’ Chambers

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Option one

Reforming private prosecutions in the wake of the Post Office scandal

Described as one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in British history, the Post Office’s use of private prosecutions against more than 700 Post Office sub-postmasters and -mistresses has prompted widespread demand for reform.

Formal regulation, legislative change and a code of standards are some of the changes our panellists will consider as they discuss what could be done to repair confidence in the justice system and how we can ensure private prosecutions serve the public interest.

Chair: Adrian Darbishire KC, QEB Hollis Whiteman

Ari Alibhai, QEB Hollis Whiteman
Flora Page, 23ES
Polly Sprenger, Addleshaw Goddard


Option two
Navigating ethical dilemmas at the Bar

Every year the Bar Council receives over 5,200 calls and emails into its Ethical Enquiries Service. In this practical session our panel of experts will explore key ethics rules in the BSB Handbook and talk through scenarios of common ethical dilemmas at the Bar.

Chair: Fenner Moeran KC, Co-Chair of Bar Council’s Ethics Committee

John Battle KC, Head of Legal and Compliance for ITN
James Hines KC, Three Raymond Buildings
Hannah Smith, General Pharmaceutical Council

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Coffee break/exhibition


Keynote address by the Shadow Lord Chancellor

Chair: Lord Macdonald of River Glaven Kt KC, Matrix Chambers.
Speaker: Shabana Mahmood MP, Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice.


Artificial Intelligence and its place in the justice system

Earlier this year, the Bar Council issued the first guidance for the Bar on the use of ChatGPT recognising that the growth of AI tools in the legal sector is inevitable and the rules may struggle to keep pace. In this session our expert panel will explore the ethical considerations around the use of AI in the administration of justice and discuss the future opportunities and threats that the use of AI in the courts and across the justice system brings. 

Chair: David O’Mahony, 7BR

The Rt Hon Sir Robert Buckland KC MP
Shobana Iyer, Swan Chambers


Speech by Amrit Kaur Dhanoa, Chair of the Young Barristers’ Committee


Keynote address by the Lady Chief Justice of England and Wales

Chair: Amrit Kaur Dhanoa, Chair of the Young Barristers’ Committee

Speaker: The Rt Hon. the Baroness Carr of Walton-on-the-Hill, Lady Chief Justice of England and Wales

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TESTIMONIAL - attendee


Meet the speakers

Find out which experts are presenting

Our sponsors and exhibitors

See who's sponsoring this year's conference

Browse our ticket options

Choose any discounts that apply to you

Travel and accommodation

Guidance on hotels and travel

Bar Conference 2024

Join us for the only event that brings the whole Bar together

Follow us on X: @thebarcouncil
Follow our updates on X: #BarConf2024