Coronavirus, Chambers and the Bar

My chambers has worked remotely for over eight weeks now. Kings Chambers covers a wide range of civil litigation but not family or criminal law. Our offices are in Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham. Apart from ten furloughed staff, who are all being paid in full, all 160 barristers and employees, including four pupils, are working…Continue Reading

Drama in the courtroom: Defending the rights of children diagnosed with autism

Abstract   Children diagnosed with autism have the right to access evidence-based practices that are necessary for their education and welfare. Oftentimes, parents of these children are not satisfied with the education provided by the State and they challenge education or health authorities in tribunals. Usually, these tribunal hearings revolve around the inclusion/exclusion of the…Continue Reading

Operating companies & Covid-19: Beware of tomorrow’s litigation!

  The news of Covid-19 lawsuits being filed is spreading around the world.  In France, the latest news is that some employees of Amazon have filed a criminal complaint for manslaughter, stating that they are not sufficiently protected against the risk of developing Covid-19.  In the United States, Walmart is the target of the first…Continue Reading

Examining Expert Evidence

This article considers how to deal with expert evidence when the other side discloses it during the course of litigation. The issue is that many advocates, particularly those who are junior (or those like myself are commencing their second sixth), may not challenge the expert sufficiently in order to test his evidence. This might be…Continue Reading

On Interpretation and Judging

I have written extensively about legal issues and indeed questions of interpretation of legal texts. There is a much-cited article of mine in the Irish Bar Review on Historical Interpretation of the Constitution of Ireland. Or at least much cited in Ireland. Over time this knowledge base has deepened, and I believe the key to…Continue Reading

Latest message from Chair of the Bar Council on Covid-19

Dear all, I cannot believe that Easter is over and another week of lockdown has gone by in our ‘new normal’. Last week was busy so I wanted to update you on what the Bar Council has been doing to support the Bar through this crisis: Survey summary:Thank you all for responding to the survey.…Continue Reading

Neurodiverse people at the Bar

 It’s time to recognise neurodiversity at the Bar properly. The BSB publishes an annual summary of diversity data for the Bar and its 2019 report breaks the stats down by gender, ethnicity, disability and “other”. This reveals for example that although the proportion of female pupils (55%) is greater than that for males (46%), female…Continue Reading

Unnatural Selection – Forensic Science on the Endangered List*

With a career in forensic science that stretches back to 1974, it’s inevitable that I sometimes look back to see if there’s anything in the past which might conceivably help to solve the problems of today. I first started doing this in 2009 as we emerged from a particularly difficult period when the industry had…Continue Reading

COVID-19 and the state of exception

  INTRODUCTION The World Health Organization Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on 20 March 2020, revealed reports of more than 210,000 cases of COVID-19 and over 9,000 people deaths caused by COVID-19. Around the world, desperate measures have been adopted to tackle the outbreak of COVID-19, which has been labelled as a ‘once in a century event’. Some…Continue Reading

COVID-19 and Health & Safety: what are the workplace implications and knowing your ‘RPE’s from your ‘FFFP3’s

Introduction Despite WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warning back on 4th March 2020 of a “rapidly depleting” stock of gloves, medical masks, respirators, and hand sanitizer the situation continues to be a cause for real concern when it comes to frontline workers battling COVID-19. Dr Rinesh Parmar, chair of the Doctors’ Association UK, told…Continue Reading

Young Bar blog: Supporting the Young Bar during COVID-19

Responding to the immediate impact COVID-19 has been an ever-evolving task. The priority of the Young Barristers’ Committee  (YBC) has been the safety of young barristers and pupils as they work to ensure the rule of law is upheld in these difficult times. The YBC has been one of many voices within the Bar Council…Continue Reading

COVID-19 Business advice and support for Barristers

 As a self-employed Barrister, you will have concerns regarding the impact of Coronavirus on your practice and what this means for cash flow, tax and VAT payments. Below is a summary of the assistance which is currently available during these difficult times. This information is complete as of 25 March 2020. We are monitoring the…Continue Reading

Artificial Intelligence: Where Disruption Becomes a Force for Good

  The UK legal profession is a bastion of tradition, with centuries of history framing the way law is practiced and how the sector presents itself.  However, tradition is increasingly being counterbalanced with a move towards innovation, with new technology transforming the way the sector, and the people within it, work. In particular, Artificial Intelligence…Continue Reading

Practice at the Civil Bar: Some intriguing possibilities

In this article, Andrew Thornton, a barrister at Erskine Chambers and a director of, Sparqa Legal and considers some of the ways in which technology may change how the civil law barristers’ practices may evolve over the next decade. Although technological advances have transformed many other professions and industries in the last ten…Continue Reading

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