Junior bar event to focus on austerity

The annual Young bar Conference this year will focus on how the junior bar can thrive despite the austerity of Government cuts and severe restrictions on access to justice.

On Saturday, the conference, entitled ‘Advocates: Be The Best’, will feature keynote speeches from lawyer, academic and broadcaster Geoffrey Robertson QC, chairman of the bar Michael Todd QC and Sir Sidney Kentridge QC and will highlight the importance of advocacy and the need to nurture those skills among pupils and the junior bar.

Advocacy workshops on vulnerable and expert witnesses, case analysis and appellate advocacy and ethics workshops on crime, civil and family practice areas will form the bulk of the educational programme while a plenary session on topical issues will encourage debate.

David Nicholls

David Nicholls

David Nicholls, chairman of the Young Barristers’ Committee which will host the event, said: “The challenges facing the wider bar are felt more acutely by the young bar, who do not yet have the established practices of their peers.

“With less work available and repeated cuts to publicly-funded fees, it has never been more important for us, as young barristers, to emphasise our skills and expertise as advocates, to remind our clients, the Government and the wider public that we are the best lawyers for specialist advocacy and advice.”

The full conference programme can be found here.

The Young Bar Conference will be held at The Hotel Russell, Russell Square, WC1 5BE on Saturday 6 October from 8.30am to 5.15pm.

The event follows Todd’s speech at the Liberal Democrat conference in which he called for greater government support for the junior bar (24 September).