The Brick Court Chambers Centenary Podcast
By Brick Court Chambers
In celebration of Brick Court’s 100th birthday in 2021, we are proud to present this series of programmes featuring past and present members of chambers in conversation, discussing their experience and experiences – in practice, on the bench and in all sorts of other places that a career in law has taken them. We hope that these programmes will be of interest and use to barristers, solicitors, judges, law students … or indeed anyone with an interest in the law
Kelyn Bacon and Sarah Abram
In this seventh episode, Kelyn Bacon – Mrs Justice Bacon DBE – and Sarah Abram got together to discuss gender equality and social mobility in the legal profession and the judiciary. Join them as they discuss: · the reality of combining family life and practice; · why the bar is a career which does allow that combination to work, even though there remains much that can and should be done to promote gender equality; · the importance of schools outreach and, in particular, mentoring, in promoting social mobility; and, · the mentoring that is available at all stages of career development. Mrs Justice Bacon DBE was called to the Bar in 1998, and practised in EU and Competition law, with a particular specialism in state aid law (she was the author and general editor of European Union Law of State Aid and co-founder of the UK State Aid Law Association) and pharmaceutical regulation. She took silk in 2014, and appeared in many of the leading and landmark competition cases both domestically and in Europe. In 2017 she became a deputy high court judge, and in 2020 she was appointed to the High Court bench, to sit in the Chancery Division – the first woman from Brick Court Chambers to be appointed as a judge. Sarah Abram was called to the Bar in 2006. Her practice straddles Chambers’ practice areas, encompassing competition, EU and commercial cases. Described by the legal directories as ‘without doubt a star of her generation’, Sarah was nominated as EU and Competition Junior of the Year in the Legal 500 UK Bar Awards in both 2019 and 2020. In 2021, she was crowned Pro Bono Junior of the Year, in recognition both for her pro bono work and her work developing and launching a mentoring scheme for prospective barristers from under represented groups, which launched in 2020 initially with 6 participating sets, and now involves 10 leading commercial sets.
December 14, 2021
Episode 4: Zahra Al-Rikabi and Yasmin Ali: Early years in practice
In this episode Yasmin Ali interviews Brick Court’s Zahra Al-Rikabi. Their conversation focuses on Zahra’s advice for navigating the early years of practice and becoming a barrister alongside being a new mother. Amongst other things, they discuss: - The transition from pupillage to practice (‘Leaning in to discomfort’) - The value of mentors and the available support structures - Zahra’s experience as a Muslim woman thriving at the bar Zahra Al-Rikabi came to England from Syria at age 9, and learned English as second language. She went on to study jurisprudence at Oxford and obtained an LLM from the LSE. After working at the Law Commission and as a judicial assistant in the Court of Appeal, Zahra became a member of Chambers in 2013. Zahra is described in Legal 500 as “fiercely intelligent” and “an excellent junior in the ascendancy”. Yasmin Ali is a law and politics graduate from Queen Mary University of London where she was supported as an IntoUniversity Student Associate. She currently works on communications and advocacy at Salusbury World, a charity whose mission is to support and empower refugee and migrant children and families.
December 08, 2021
Episode 3: Emma Mockford and Kerollos Brais: the pupillage year
In this episode Kerollos Brais interviews Brick Court’s Emma Mockford. Their conversation, which had to be recorded remotely, focuses on the pupillage year and Emma’s experience starting out at the Bar, having previously worked as a solicitor. Amongst other things, they discuss: - The value of work experience and vacation schemes - Being a solicitor vs being a barrister - What Chambers look for in pupillage applicants - Life as a pupil and the assessment process Emma Mockford studied jurisprudence at Oxford and obtained an MA in competition law from King’s College London. After undertaking a training contract and practising as an associate solicitor for three years at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, Emma was called to the Bar in 2016 and became a member of Chambers after completion of pupillage. Emma is described by Legal 500 as “a rising star and destined for great things”. Kerollos Brais is an IntoUniversity Student Associate in his final year of a law degree at the University of Sussex, and is in the first generation of his family to attend university.
December 01, 2021
Episode 2: Sarah Bousfield and Oscar Yong: Applying for pupillage
As part of the celebration of Brick Court’s centenary in 2021, we have partnered with the Sutton Trust and IntoUniversity, two charities committed to improving access for under-represented groups in both higher education and in the workplace. As well as raising money for them, Chambers has developed a work experience programme for students from both charities, provided speakers for various events organised by both charities and hosted a high-profile panel debate on social mobility. As part of that partnership with the Sutton Trust and IntoUniversity, we are proud to present a series of podcasts aimed at helping aspiring lawyers from all backgrounds. In the programmes, various members of members of Chambers are interviewed by students who are being or have been supported by the charities while in education. The interviewers asked junior barristers about their own experiences and the obstacles they overcame in coming to the bar, and about the different stages in the lifecycle of an applicant barrister, from applying to university, through application for and the experience of pupillage to the early years of practice. In this episode Oscar Yong interviews Brick Court’s Sarah Bousfield. Their broad conversation covers Sarah’s path to the Bar and her advice on applying for pupillage. Amongst other things, they discuss: - What Sarah wishes she knew when she was a student & aspiring barrister - Mistakes people make when applying for pupillage - Diversity and inclusion (are barristers all ‘pale, male and stale’?) Sarah Bousfield grew up in Lincolnshire where she attended a state grammar school before going on to study law at Durham University and then completed her master’s degree (BCL) at Oxford University. After being called to the Bar in 2013, Sarah undertook pupillage at 39 Essex Chambers where she practiced for six years before moving to Brick Court in 2020. She is described in Legal 500 as “an exceptional barrister, who is hard-working, enthusiastic and passionate.” Oscar Yong grew up in London before going on to study criminology at Durham University – St Aidan’s College, where he is currently in his second year and is supported as an IntoUniversity Student Associate.
November 23, 2021
Episode 1: Richard Blakeley & Josiah Senu: Into and at university
As part of the celebration of Brick Court’s centenary in 2021, we have partnered with the Sutton Trust and IntoUniversity, two charities committed to improving access for under-represented groups in both higher education and in the workplace. As well as raising money for them, Chambers has developed a work experience programme for students from both charities, provided speakers for various events organised by both charities and hosted a high-profile panel debate on social mobility. As part of that partnership with the Sutton Trust and IntoUniversity, we are proud to present a series of podcasts aimed at helping aspiring lawyers from all backgrounds. In the programmes, various members of members of Chambers are interviewed by students who are being or have been supported by the charities while in education. The interviewers asked junior barristers about their own experiences and the obstacles they overcame in coming to the bar, and about the different stages in the lifecycle of an applicant barrister, from applying to university, through application for and the experience of pupillage to the early years of practice. Episode 1: Richard Blakeley and Josiah Senu: into and at university In this first episode, Josiah Senu interviews Brick Court’s Richard Blakeley. Their discussion focuses on the early stages of planning to be a Barrister and in particular life at university. Amongst other things, they discuss: - What subjects to study and if this matters (spoiler alert: it doesn’t) - Maximising the value of work experience - Selling yourself as a candidate - Diversity at the Bar and ‘scrolling through white faces’ on websites Richard Blakeley grew up in Rotherham where he attended a state comprehensive school before going on to study law at Cambridge University and Harvard Law School. He has been a member of Chambers since 2008 and is described in Legal 500 as “one of the smartest Commercial Juniors and a shoo-in to any litigation team heading into battle – delightful company and a mega star for the future”. Josiah Senu is a Sutton Trust alumnus who studied law at LSE before going on to post-graduate degrees at Harvard and Oxford. He is a member of the Sutton Trust Alumni Board, was a panellist at our social mobility discussion event and will be commencing pupillage at a leading set of Chambers in 2022.
November 12, 2021
In this episode, we focus on mediation. Brick Court Chambers is home to many of the UK’s – indeed the world’s – most highly-regarded mediators. As mediation has taken on a more prominent role in commercial litigation, so Brick Court’s mediation practice has grown alongside it. For this podcast, we brought together four of the busiest and best known – Sue Prevezer QC, Stephen Ruttle QC, Tony Willis and Bill Wood QC – to chat about the past, present and future of mediation. Their discussion ranged widely, as one would expect, and covered topics such as working as a mediator within a barristers chambers, the relationship of the bar with mediation and the role that mediation could and should play in resolving disputes. Bill Wood QC Bill Wood chairs the programme. A leading commercial QC, Bill trained as a mediator in 1999. He was awarded Mediator of the Year 2018 and is ranked #1 Mediation Silk 2019 in WWL’s UK Bar Guide. He is consistently ranked in the top tiers by Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners. Stephen Ruttle QC Stephen has been in practice at Brick Court Chambers since 1978. He stopped practising as a barrister and QC in 2002 and since then has worked full time as a commercial mediator. For many years he has been rated as one of the leading mediators in the UK. Stephen is also the founder director and chair of Wandsworth Mediation Service. Tony Willis Tony is a commercial mediation pioneer, among the first to be trained in 1990, among the first to mediate regularly and then, in 1998, among the first to launch his own independent practice as a full time commercial mediator as the Woolf Reforms to Civil Justice were about to take effect. His background as a litigation partner in Clifford Chance for more than 25 years gave him the experience and standing to undertake a wide range of commercial matters. Tony joined Chambers as a full-time mediator in 2004. Sue Prevezer QC After 25 years in practice, including 8 years in silk, Sue was the co-managing partner of Quinn Emanuel in London from its inception in 2008 to January 2020 Sue decided to come back to the Bar, joining Brick Court in April 2020 to practise as an arbitrator, mediator and consultant. Sue is an accredited CEDR mediator, a Civil Mediation Council registered mediator, a mediator on the for the Court of Arbitration for Art Panel and a member of the London Chamber of Arbitration and Mediation panel of mediators. Links mentioned in the podcast and other useful links Brick Court Chambers’ “Guide to Mediation” CEDR (the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution) The Civil Mediation Council
October 27, 2021
Harry Matovu QC & Lord Leggatt
In this episode, Harry Matovu QC talks to George Leggatt, a Justice of the Supreme Court, about judging – becoming a judge, the job and experience of being a judge, and appointments to, and the composition of, the bench. Why do people become judges? What is it like being out of your (commercial) comfort zone when sitting as a Recorder trying criminal cases? How easy is it to shift a judge from a preliminary view formed on the papers? How do judges reach their decisions, both when sitting alone and with other judges in appellate courts? Why does one need diversity on the bench, and what are the risks of not having it? Join George and Harry as they discuss these, and a host of other, questions. Lord Leggatt George Leggatt joined Brick Court Chambers in 1985, having been a Harkness Fellow at Harvard, a Bigelow Teaching Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School and worked at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York. He had a wide commercial practice, taking silk in 1997. He was Vice-Chair of the Bar Standards Board from 2006 – 2008. His judicial career started on a part-time basis, as a Recorder on the Western Circuit, a deputy high court judge and acting as an arbitrator, before his full-time appointment to the High Court in 2012. He was promoted to the Court of Appeal in 2018 and to the Supreme Court in April 2020. Harry Matovu QC Harry Matovu joined Brick Court in 1989 and he took silk in 2010. He has a wide-ranging practice in the fields of commercial litigation and international arbitration, acting both as leading counsel and as an arbitrator. Harry was named in The Lawyer ‘Hot 100’ List for 2021 and he was nominated as Silk of the Year for International Arbitration in the Legal 500 Awards 2020. In addition to his professional practice, in 2020 he created, developed, launched and advanced the Charter for Black Talent in Finance and the Professions, work that has seen him recognised in the Powerlist 2021 as one of the most influential black professionals in the UK and nominated for his Outstanding Contribution to Diversity & Inclusion in this year’s Chambers Bar Awards. Relevant links mentioned in the programme Charter for Black Talent in Finance and the Professions Judicial Attitudes Survey
October 12, 2021
Lord Phillips & Sir Christopher Clarke
In this episode of the Brick Court Chambers Centenary podcast series two legal greats discuss their reminiscences of Brick Court and their experience in the field of public inquiries. After a career in practice at Brick Court as a commercial advocate, Nicholas Phillips, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, went on to a judicial career of unparalleled success., occupying all the major judicial offices. He is a former Master of the Rolls, Lord Chief Justice, Senior Law Lord (the last) and President of The Supreme Court (the first). Among many other public inquiries, he presided over the BSE inquiry into Mad Cow Disease from 1998 to 2000. Sir Christopher Clarke QC was Head of Chambers from 1990 to 2004. In practice he was one of the leading commercial advocates of his day, and acted as counsel in a number of inquiries. Most famously he sat as counsel to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry for six years. As a judge he sat in the commercial court for eight years and in the Court of Appeal for four years, retiring in 2017. They discuss, on the basis of their extensive first hand experience, the nature and conduct of public inquiries, including an assessment of how the forthcoming public inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic could and should take place. The podcast is introduced and hosted by Fionn Pilbrow QC.
July 26, 2021
Sir Sydney Kentridge & Lord Sumption
For this episode we brought together two of the foremost lawyers of recent times Sir Sydney Kentridge and Lord Jonathan Sumption, both former members of Brick Court Chambers which they joined in 1978. Sir Sydney, who is now 98-years-old, was still working into his 90s and retains a keen interest in the law. He is widely considered to be one of the foremost advocates of the twentieth century, who achieved wide recognition for his work in his native South Africa representing three Nobel Prize winners; Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela and Albert Luthuli and the family of Steve Biko at the inquiry into his murder by aparthied police in 1978. Lord Sumption is a former Justice of the Supreme Court and an awarding winning historian and author. He is a former joint head of Brick Court Chambers who appeared in a great many high profile cases including the proceedings between Roman Abramovich and Boris Berezovsky in 2012. Their discussion was hosted by Fionn Pilbrow QC.
July 05, 2021
Stepping Outside The Law
In this second episode (again, recorded remotely), David Anderson QC and Maya Lester QC share views and experiences on “Stepping Outside the Law”. Why and how do some lawyers step outside the law? How does legal life prepare one for public life? What happens when law and politics meet, and when might each need to give way? Where and how can one have the most impact – in the courtroom our outside it? What do lawyers bring to the House of Lords? And why are foreign spooks jealous of the British (is it really James Bond)? Join David and Maya as they discuss these, and a host of other, questions. Lord Anderson of Ipswich KBE QC is a leading silk in public and constitutional, human rights, EU and regulatory law. As Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation from 2011-2017, his reviews into investigatory powers and intelligence-handling prompted major changes in UK law and practice. Having been named as Halsbury’s Legal Personality of the Year, and as one of the Evening Standard’s 1000 most influential Londoners, he was knighted in 2018 and appointed to the House of Lords as a cross-bench peer. He also sits on the Courts of Appeal of Guernsey and Jersey, and chairs UCL’s European Institute and the international conflict resolution charity Inter-Mediate. Maya Lester QC was called to the Bar in 2000 and took silk in 2016. As the directories put it, she is “Queen of the Sanctions Bar without a doubt” and "owns the world of sanctions". She founded and co-writes europeansanctions.com, the leading online resource on sanctions with over 8000 followers worldwide, and has given evidence on sanctions to a number of parliamentary committees. She practises in public and administrative, European and competition, human rights, public international and sanctions law. Podcast produced by Adam Batstone Media & Communications
March 25, 2021
Sir Nicholas Green & Helen Davies QC
In this first episode, Helen Davies QC talks to Sir Nicholas Green. Their wide-ranging discussion, which was recorded remotely in February 2021 due to lockdown restrictions, covers their lives in practice, at Brick Court and beyond. · The early days of “making” European law (Factortame) · Dealing with Government, both as Chair of the Bar and as Chair of the Law Commission · The development and modernisation of Chambers, and the experience of being Head of Chambers · The view from and life on the bench (including what Judges look for in advocates) · Work life balance Sir Nicholas Green is a Lord Justice of Appeal sitting in the Court of Appeal and Chairman of the Law Commission. After swimming for England and a career in academia, Nick Green was called to the bar in 1986, and joined Brick Court Chambers in 1990. Practising predominantly in European and competition law, public and constitutional law, he took silk in 1998. He was Chairman of the Bar in 2010, and joint head of Chambers from 2011 until he went to the High Court Bench in 2013. In 2018, he was promoted to the Court of Appeal, and appointed as Chairman of the Law Commission. Helen Davies QC is Joint Head of Brick Court Chambers. Helen Davies was called to the bar in 1991, joining Brick Court as a pupil in 1992. Her practice encompasses much of the breadth of Brick Court’s work, from heavy commercial litigation to competition law and Euro work. She took silk in 2008, and became joint head of chambers in 2013 - one of the first female heads of a magic circle set.
March 04, 2021