10 of the things we did in May 2018

5 June 2018

  1. Following elections of the Bar Council officers, Richard Atkins QC was elected as Chair of the Bar for 2019. Amanda Pinto QC and Grant Warnsby were elected as Vice Chair of the Bar and Treasurer of the Bar respectively.

  2. A new Bar Council report 'Barristers' Working Lives 2017: Barristers' attitudes towards their working lives, revealed that barristers across England and Wales are struggling with a number of factors affecting their overall working lives, such as workload, stress, and work-life balance.               

  3. Calls to tackle harassment in the barristers' profession have been strongly backed by the Bar Council, the representative body for barristers in England & Wales, ahead of a debate about the issue in London hosted by the Behind the Gown initiative. The Bar Council said that harassment and bullying has been and remains a key priority for the organisation. 

  4. Responding to the Bar Standards Board's (BSB) new  Policy Statement   outlining its position on pupillage and other forms of work-based learning, Guy Fetherstonhaugh QC, Chair of the Bar Council's Education & Training Committee, acknowledged that some proposals put forward by the Bar Council, including the need for Pupillage providers to be re-authorised if they wish to continue to offer pupillage, had been accepted.

  5. A report from the Justice Select Committee highlighting concerns over plans to increase the small claims limit to £5,000 prompted the Bar Council to warn that the move could undermine access to justice for those injured in accidents.

  6. The Bar Council and the Bar Human Rights Committee (BHRC) wrote jointly to Prime Minister Theresa May, urging her to voice concerns over Turkey's ongoing and large-scale prosecution of judges, lawyers, journalists and human rights defenders with the Turkish President.

  7. Chair of the Bar, Andrew Walker QC, the Bar Council staff and others from across the legal sector took part in the annual London Legal Walk to raise funds for legal charities and advice centres.

  8. The Bar Council and its partners on the Wellbeing at the Bar initiative highlighted advice, experiences and tips on mental health and wellbeing from members of the Bar as part of Mental Health Awareness Week (May 14-18).

  9. To mark the opening of this year's Law Reform Essay competition, the Bar Council produced a short video of members of the Bar Council Law Reform Committee giving advice and tips on what makes a winning essay.

  10. Andrew Walker QC, Chair of the Bar, warned that 'clumsily drafted' data protection laws due to be voted in May could hand 'big brother powers' to data watchdog the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) by granting it access to privileged material without client consent.