September 2022 - Present: Pupil Barrister, 39 Essex Chambers
I commenced pupillage at 39 Essex Chambers in September 2022. I am currently in my third of the four seats: public and administrative law, civil law, commercial and construction law, and planning and environmental law.
I have gained experience in a variety of public law matters, including:
Researching a variety of substantive and procedural matters involving the law of the European Union, European Convention on Human Rights, UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
Assisting Steve Broach with research on the jurisdiction of a claim of victimisation about a disabled pupil against the responsible body of a school.
Providing detailed grounds of defence under the guidance of Colin Thomann in an indefinite leave to remain case.
Researching legal provisions relating to the provision of British Sign Language and assessing the merits of a claim seeking free classes for parents of D(d)eaf children under the supervision of Steve Broach.
Developing written advice as to the merits of a judicial review challenge to a school's admissibility criteria.
Drafting a notice of objection to an application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court in an entry clearance case involving Article 8 issues.
I have gained experience in civil law, including drafting statements of cases, counter-schedules, advices, and legal research on various matters. Specifically, I worked on the following:
Writing a defence in clinical negligence matters for Judith Ayling KC.
Advising and drafting pleadings in road traffic accident cases under Emily Formby KC's supervision.
Settlement in clinical negligence and personal injury matters.
Advising on liability, pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA) and quantum in personal injury and clinical negligence matters.
Drafting schedules and counter-schedules for cases involving fatal accidents and medical care.
Assisting in research and drafting pleadings in clinical negligence cases involving delayed diagnosis, breach of clinical duty, and complex causation matters.
I have experience in the following commercial, construction, and property matters:
Drafting pleadings in contract, proper, and construction disputes.
Assisting David Sawtell in researching and drafting an advice on the definition of 'same damage' under Section 1(1) of the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978.
February 2019 - Present: Representative, Free Representation Unit
Through my volunteer work with the Free Representation Unit, I gained valuable experience guiding individuals through complicated legal matters. My communication skills were refined as I learned how to effectively engage with clients. During my first case, I worked alongside a seasoned colleague to gather all necessary evidence and allowed the client to share their story while demonstrating empathy and active listening. Once the client had calmed down, I posed strategic questions critical to presenting their case.
In my second case, I ensured the Appointee fully understood and signed the representation agreement, clarifying my role and the conference's purpose. I asked questions to monitor and restrain the client but provided no coaching. I also addressed any inquiries the Appointee had and reminded them of the hearing date and the tribunal's format.
My experience in representing clients in tribunals allowed me to develop my advocacy skills. In my first case, I coached the client on presenting their case effectively at a personal independence payment tribunal hearing. We were successful, and the client was awarded 18 points.
Written advocacy was also a significant part of my volunteering work. In my second case, I crafted concise and comprehensive written submissions highlighting the most relevant and persuasive points in a large bundle. I focused on the evidence that demonstrated the difficulty in taking the client outside, the contentious issue at hand. The tribunal ultimately decided the case based on our written submissions.
November 2018 - September 2019: Volunteer, Hackney Law Centre
I represented clients in PIP appeals. One case, for example, required representation at short notice. I promptly learned the case bundle and researched the relevant law. I also conducted conferencing in a private room before the hearing to ensure confidentiality. I explained to her the hearing process and judging panel formation and its independence. I made sure not to coach the client by saying, ‘They will ask you about the evidence, what you can do and what you cannot’ rather than giving specific examples of potential questions.
The Respondent had prepared for a different matter, which was not disputed. I orally persuaded the tribunal to proceed with the PIP appeal by highlighting that an adjournment would be the only other option, which would be unfair to the client. The case bundle only dealt with the PIP aspect, and I could not have gone beyond it. The tribunal asked the client questions, and interjecting was unnecessary. This was the correct approach, given that the tribunal seemed persuaded by the written submissions. We won the case, and the tribunal judged in around 20 minutes. The client was elated and could now get the support she needed, which was rewarding.
At the weekly drop-in sessions, I assisted clients with completing their welfare benefit forms, mandatory reconsideration and statement of reasons.
Research is essential to advocacy as it enables a strong understanding of the facts and relevant legal materials. I became familiar with an array of welfare laws through this role. For example, I found a means of establishing a right to reside as part of my colleague's advice to a client who is a Zambrano carer. The Council stopped her entitlement to Housing Benefits and Council Tax Reduction, resulting in rent arrears. A right to reside would reverse the decision.
September 2018: Mini-Pupillage, Wilberforce Chambers
I researched partnerships law for my supervisor, who was asked to help a firm of solicitors operating without written partnership. I learned that partnerships can be implied and, as a general rule, the arrangement is likely to be a partnership if it appears to be a partnership. Sharing net profits is another indication. I also investigated bankruptcy law.
I attended a Costs and Case Management Conference concerning a right of way and trespass and shadowed a Master in the Insolvency and Companies Court. I learned that Insolvency is procedural and different from human rights law in that everything is set out in statute, which is often followed step by step. Cases in the Insolvency and Companies Courts are heard at pace; they are usually only a few minutes long. Common themes are wanting an adjournment to create time to settle debts, petitioning for bankruptcy, and achieving the common goal of settling the debt.
I was able to develop my understanding of advocacy too. I saw the importance of being clear and concise in oral advocacy because the hearings are short.
June - July 2018: Assessed Mini-Pupillage, Monckton Chambers
I checked submissions and wrote our reply in the L case in the Upper Tribunal. It was concerned with Regulation 4(c) of the Equality Act 2010 (Disability) Regulations and its compliance with Article 14 and Article 2 Protocol 1 of the European Convention of Human Rights. I thought that Regulation(1)(c) was clearly freestanding rather than a tendency linked to a recognised impairment. The key is in the phrase ‘other conditions. This seemed to create two classes of disabled people; those who were physically aggressive and those who did not have this characteristic. The barrister said my reply was 'excellent'. I made a point that the barrister used in court, although I cannot say for sure that he would not have found it himself.
I saw the case being heard, which allowed insight into how the barrister summarised the opposition's argument before offering an alternative. Interestingly, the barrister distributed a speaker’s note to the court to help people follow and check how the judge received his arguments during lunch.
I completed a review of a JR bundle on a case questioning the legality of adopting and maintaining the Resource Level Policy. It was not compliant with s42 of the Childrens and Families Act 2014 because of the obligation to ensure a specified special education provision for each child or young person. It also breached the safeguarding welfare of children obligation under s175 Education Act 2002 and s18 Childrens Act 2004. Reducing the funding for each child/young person by 5% and lacking consultation also breached both provisions. The Plan Format Policy also breached safeguarding and the public sector equality duty.
June 2018: Mini-Pupillage, Doughty Street Chambers
I went to court with my supervising barrister, representing the local authority, regarding a person's institutionalisation in a mental health case. I was surprised at how much collaboration between the other side and the judge went into these cases. My supervisor met with the Official Solicitor’s barrister and the person’s social worker to find a resolution to enable the person to move into a home vacancy. It was less adversarial in court than I thought and focused on achieving possible outcomes.
I observed a different barrister in the First-Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum). This was an enlightening experience since it provided an opportunity to see how disabled barristers overcame obstacles since both had hearing impairments. One barrister used a Stenotype to know what people were saying in court. Such solutions might help in my career.
I read the papers, researched the law, and attended a post-inquiry review. A man had died after going to the GP with tightness and pains in the neck, chest base and shoulders and had been sent home. I became familiar with medical guidance given by NICE and the BMI by preparing for the review. I also became wiser as to structure. The barrister started by discussing the inquiry outcome, comparing it with what they wanted and considering how the study was practical. The barrister then gave the family three main avenues: a civil claim, complaining to the GMC, and asking the practice for a final letter before going to the parliamentary ombudsman.
April - May 2018: Work Experience, Mishcon de Rea
I was trusted to carry out a due diligence exercise and complete a compliance check on the papers of a company and its subsidiaries for my client company who wanted to buy it. Each subsidiary had a hotel. One owner’s name was inconsistent on the paperwork. The insurance policy only covered two of the three hotels owned by the subsidiaries. The insurance appeared outdated under an insurer with an unusual address: Manchester and Bristol. The company owners my client wanted to buy were explicitly named on the insurance. There was also a clause preventing deep fat frying that may affect my client’s food plans. Clarification from the company was required in all of these issues.
I researched how a parent company could remove directors from its subsidiaries, which it had recently become aware of. I discovered that the subsidiaries used model articles, as set out in Article 18 of the Companies (Model Articles) Regulations 2008. The articles stated that the directors could be removed per the Companies Act 2006. This requires an ordinary resolution at a general meeting. Twenty-eight clear days' special notice is required for the discussion and the resolution because a director is being removed. This can be done directly in a newspaper advertisement if direct message is not possible. The concerned director is entitled to send representations that must be circulated before the meeting. Only a simple majority vote in favour was required since it was an ordinary resolution.
I found corporate law interesting despite not having prior experience. It is technical and is often set out in black letter law and regulations rather than case law.
August 2015: Works Experience, BLM
I worked on various personal injury and occupational disease cases, which was a fantastic opportunity to explore different legal areas and utilise legal analysis in cases involving clients in a leading law firm. This provided an invigorating experience of learning the operations of a successful firm filled with friendly staff and lawyers but confirmed my desire for the Bar, given my drive for advocacy and specialism. I learned what was expected from counsel by the professional client, which will assist with my career at the Bar.
August 2015: Mini-Pupillage, Coram Chambers
I observed several barristers in the Central Family Court, and this fully illustrated how family law affects many lives and requires empathy and personal understanding. The style and range of advocacy I observed showed me that a family law practitioner undertakes vastly different advocacy depending on the case, the client and the area of law in which they work.
Family law is fascinating because you can advise an HNWI on Trusts Law at a conference in the morning and in the afternoon representing a vulnerable family in a public law case against the state.
Witnessing negotiation outside the courtroom to 'narrow the issues' showed the work done outside the Court to seal the case. I saw how the nature of the patients was vital to avoiding an adversarial trial, which is too often detrimental to family life. The barristers I shadowed would explore any areas of flexibility to find compromises and common ground.
June 2015: Works Experience, Matrix Chambers
I shadowed Karon Monaghan QC and another barrister in the Court of Appeal as they challenged the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeals Tribunal fees on the grounds of discrimination and EU law. Karon’s confident and calm advocacy was an enlightening example. I try to replicate her composed and self-assured style when delivering advocacy.
August 2014 - July 2015: Advising Team Leader, Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre
Being an Advising Team Leader presented the opportunity to be a team player in cooperation with the LAC management, the Support Team and Student Advisors to ensure the seamless running of the centre and maintain a cheerful atmosphere. Professionalism and a positive attitude were, therefore, required. Supporting Student Advisors demands excellent leadership and managerial skills as they need guidance to find their feet in an unfamiliar role. Practical thinking, communication and presentation of information were necessary to give such direction to answer questions and inform of LAC practices and procedures. Leading a team of intelligent Advisors called for integrity, initiative, focus and the ability to cope under pressure and to motivate.
Student Advisors came with problems, including being unsure about the expectations of the role, managing numerous commitments, needing clarification on LAC’s practices and procedures and uncertainty about how their research should be completed—my role exposure to having responsibility towards a group of people. Quick thinking and the ability to reason, guide, and support were often demanded. Knowledge of discrimination law, criminal law, immigration law, human rights law and family law was often called upon in light of my responsibility towards those on the Pink Law Project, which advises the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the Immigration Law programme.
General tasks included helping with training and development, completing paperwork, handling initial questions and concerns, helping with promotional events and personnel duties, reporting to senior management after advice sessions during office hours and explaining LAC procedures and processes.
August 2014 - July 2015: Intern, Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre
I wrote various articles for its now-defunct blog. The articles, however, can still be found on this website's blog. I also did the research and materials for its new revenge porn programme. The task included putting together training materials for the students, which contained all the relevant laws, how to apply them, good practices, and valuable resources.
I helped with training and development, completing paperwork, handling initial questions and concerns, promotional events, personnel duties, reporting to senior management, after-advice session office hours and explaining LAC procedures and processes.
Sept 2012 - Jun 2014: Student Advisor, Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre
I prepared for cases by researching the area of law more broadly. One case involving a neighbour dispute required study as there were potential criminal and civil complaints. The client had various issues relating to harassment, nuisance, trespass, battery, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and the police's failure to take action.
The client was distressed, and, as a result, he required my compassion and attentiveness when interviewing him. Highlighting critical information was essential, given that he told lengthy stories.
I used clear and precise communication to ensure the client could answer questions impacting the advice given. Covering all parts of the case concisely demanded that I succinctly summarise the facts from a large quantity of information. The advice needed appropriate headings and structure, which I implemented.
Oct 2007: Legal Intern, Wealth and Investment Management at Barclays
This role allowed for improved awareness of the accuracy required in legal writing and how precise it needs to be by creating and proofreading wills. It required the ability to swiftly adapt to new situations by working in this unfamiliar environment, rapidly learn and master specialist computer software used to create choices. Communication skills were demanding when talking to others, ensuring an effective will-writing process.