News


St John’s Chambers celebrates 40 successful years in business

On the 7th June 2018, St John’s Chambers and 300 guests celebrated 40 years of business, held in the Sansovino Hall at the luxurious Bristol Harbour Hotel in the heart of the city.

Clients were welcomed with glasses of fizz, and throughout the event delicious food was served including canapés, live cooking demonstrations at the Sushi Bar, as well as strawberries & cream, all within the beautiful garden with picket fences, garden benches and lots of flowers.

Guests were joined by Kate Middleton and Austin Powers (lookalikes), as well as Serge from the Royale Casino – a magician, who astounded guests with his captivating close-up magic performance, and in the background the music was provided by the HipCats, making it a night to remember.

Head of Chambers, Susan Hunter, welcomed everyone to the event, whilst Christopher Sharp QC, one of two founding members in attendance that night, spoke on the changes that have occurred over the last forty years, in both our home lives and in the legal world, from the arrival of the internet and mobile phones through to Brexit.

St John’s Chambers opened in 1978 in Broad Street, Bristol with five members;  the life expectancy of the business was six months.  Forty years on, the business has grown to over 85 members, moved to modern offices in Victoria Street, has won numerous legal awards including the current ‘Regional Set of the Year 2018’ by Legal 500 UK Bar, and with a strong reputation for quality professional legal advice in the South West.

All our barristers and members of staff would like to thank our clients for joining us in celebrating our 40th Birthday Party.

Lucy Reed publishes a book on Transparency in the Family Courts – Publicity and Privacy in Practice

Family law barrister, Lucy Reed alongside an author team from The Transparency Project have written a book titled ‘Transparency in the Family Courts – Publicity and Privacy in Practice‘, printed by Bloomsbury Professional. The foreword is written by Sir Andrew McFarlane, the incoming President of the Family Division, and is essential reading for family law practitioners in private practice, local authorities and other public bodies, as well as media lawyers, journalists and social workers.

Transparency in the Family Courts Publicity and Privacy in Practice clarifies what transparency means in practice for professionals and families involved in the family courts, and provides guidance on privacy in family law cases and their reporting in the media. This new title provides full coverage of the implications of the 2014 Guidance on publication of judgments and much more.

“With the publication of this work, there will be no need to look elsewhere for an account of the law relating to transparency in family proceedings and this will rapidly become the ‘ go-to ’ book on the subject, not just because it is the only one but because of the comprehensive, clear and insightful nature of its coverage.”
Sir Andrew McFarlane

The team of authors include Julie Doughty, a Lecturer in Law in the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff University, and Paul Magrath, a Barrister with the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales.

Lucy ReedLucy will be speaking at the ‘Bloomsbury Professional Family Law Conference’ on 16th May 2018 at Gray’s Inn on ‘Transparency – why it matters, what it means’.
To book your place visit this page.

Lucy is also the author of The Family Court without a Lawyer – A Handbook for litigants in person (Bath Publishing, 3rd Edition 2017) and the award-winning ‘Pink Tape’ blog, and the Chair of The Transparency Project.

  • Order your copy of the book and receive 15% discount here
  • Read the foreword Andrew McFarlane here.
  • Book your place at the Bloomsbury Professional Family Law Conference here.  

St John’s Chambers Pupils available for work

St John’s Chambers is pleased to announce that our current pupils will shortly be entering their “2nd six”, they will be available for instruction to provide assistance with advocacy and paperwork on and from the 3 April.

Our pupils are:

Annie Sampson (Call 2015) | Commercial & Chancery 

 

 

 

 

 

Sophie Smith-Holland (Call 2015) | Family

 

 

 

 

 

Harriet Dudbridge (Call 2015) | Family

 

 

 

 

 

Jonathan Lindfield (Call 2017) | Personal Injury

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to know more or would like to instruct our pupil barristers, please contact the relevant clerks:

  • | 0117 923 4740
  • | 0117 923 4720
  • | 0117 923 4730

Natasha Dzameh to provide junior lawyers with guidance on instructing counsel and building relationships

Bristol Law Society’s “Barrister of the Year 2017”, Natasha Dzameh, will be speaking at the National JLD Forum in Bristol on 10 March 2018 to trainees, NQs and solicitors up to 5 years’ PQE. She will be providing guidance on instructing counsel and building relationships, focusing in particular on the factors to consider when drafting instructions and the components of a brief which may help or hinder counsel. Natasha is a member of the Commercial and Chancery Practice Group.

The forum is a free full day event involving presentations on a variety of legal practice and career management topics. It is designed to help junior lawyers understand current market place trends, navigate moves between firms and up the scale of seniority within firms, increase commercial awareness, learn about alternative legal careers and understand how to develop a career working abroad.

View profile: Natasha Dzameh

To book a place via the JLD: National JLD Forum

 If you would like to instruct Natasha as counsel on a commercial or chancery matter, or as a mediator, please contact her clerks on:  or 0117 923 4740

 

Friday 2 March | Bristol Snow Update

The Bristol Civil Justice Centre will not be sitting today Friday 2 March due to the adverse weather conditions.

Chambers is running a skeleton staff and is open until 1 pm today; we are picking up emails and mobile contact details can be found below:

  • Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury Practice Groups Annette Bushell, Practice Manager 07710 463 258
  • Commercial and Chancery, Employment and Public & Administrative Practice Groups Rob Bocock, Practice Manager 07801 825 013
  • Family Practice Group Luke Hodgson, Practice Manager 07929 432 614
  • Chief Executive Derek Jenkins 07807 225 964
  • Office Manager Isabelle Mills 07779 906 327

St John’s Chambers is delighted to announce our five newly trained mediators

Congratulations to our newly qualified trained mediators: James Pearce-Smith, Christopher Jones and Natasha Dzameh of our Commercial & Chancery Practice Group along with Vanessa McKinlay and Marcus Coates-Walker from Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury.

St John’s Chambers is delighted to announce that with these five newly trained mediators we now have a total of 26 within our Chambers.

Our newly qualified Members include: James Pearce-Smith, an experienced litigator who specialises in commercial and property disputes; Christopher Jones, a chancery and commercial specialist with particular emphasis on trust litigation and advice, contentious and non-contentious probate applications, real property litigation (particularly in relation to easements, restrictive covenants and contracts for the sale of land) and commercial and agricultural landlord and tenant disputes; and Natasha Dzameh, Bristol Law Society’s “Barrister of the Year 2017” who is a member of our Commercial and Chancery team. Natasha often appears in the County Court and the High Court for trials, procedural matters such as CMCs, CCMCs and PTRs, and interim applications e.g. pre-action disclosure, set aside, strike out and summary judgment.

From our Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury Practice Groups the following Members have also qualified this month: Vanessa McKinlay, Head of the Clinical Negligence Practice Group who leads a successful and expanding clinical negligence practice group. She brings a strong medical knowledge to her extensive clinical negligence practice and to personal injury cases in which complex medical issues arise; and Marcus Coates-Walker, who deals in personal injury, clinical negligence and inquest work. He is regularly instructed to conduct cases on the Fast-Track and Multi-Track and is very experienced in conducting trials and interim hearings, drafting pleadings and Part 35 questions to experts, and providing advice on liability, quantum and settlement tactics.

Our barristers are happy to travel to you, or alternatively we are able to host mediations here at St John’s Chambers without any additional costs. The main conference room can comfortably house up to 24 people. Video conferencing is available along with Wi-Fi, and all necessary catering and refreshments can be provided.

To instruct one of our barristers on a mediation matter please contact the following clerks:

| 0117 923 4740

| 0117 923 4730

Leslie Blohm QC speaks at the official launch of the Bristol Business & Property Courts

Leslie Blohm QCFriday the 12th January marked the official opening ceremony of the Bristol Business & Property Courts.

  • The event saw speeches from;
    The Lord Chief Justice of England & Wales (Rt Hon The Lord Burnett of Maldon),
    The Chancellor of the High Court (Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Vos),
    The Judge in Charge of the Commercial Court (Popplewell J),
    The Supervising Judge of the Business & Property Courts of the Western Circuit (Birss J) with the Presiding Judge of the Western Circuit (May J) in the chair.
    Leslie Blohm QC spoke on behalf of the local practitioners.
  • Other Judges and dignitaries present included;
    HHJ Cotter QC (Designated Civil Judge)
    HHJ Paul Matthews
    HHJ Russen QC
    DJ Cope
    DJ Cronin
    DJ Rowe
    DJ Howell
    DJ Watson
    The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of Bristol – Councillor Lesley Alexander
    Anthony Brown Esq High Sheriff of Bristol.

A copy of the Lord Chief Justice’s speech can be found by clicking here.

The opening ceremony was followed by a reception held at the University of Law.

Applications are now open for St John’s Chambers 2019 Pupillage

Applications for St John’s Chambers 2019 Pupillage are now open. To apply please refer to the Guidance Notes where you will also be prompted to complete our Equality & Diversity Questionnaire after submitting your completed Pupillage application form.

All completed application forms must be submitted and sent to Isabelle Mills at the following email address:  no later than Monday 5 February 2018 by 3 pm.

Downloadable documents

St John’s Chambers is delighted to announce that Jeremy Phillips has been appointed Queens Counsel

Jeremy Phillips is an associate member of St John’s, and an expert in planning / highways, regulation, licensing and mediation. We congratulate Jeremy on this achievement in being appointed Queens Counsel. The formal silk ceremony will take place on Monday the 26 February 2018 at the Palace of Westminster, London.

This year’s competition sees a total of 119 new appointments, a full list of which can be found by clicking here.

If you would like to instruct Jeremy please contact his clerks:  | 0117 923 4740

St John’s Chambers Wins Regional/Scottish “Set of the Year 2018” for The Legal 500 Awards UK Bar

We are delighted to announce our success in being awarded “Set of the Year 2018” in the Regional/Scottish category for The Legal 500 Awards UK Bar 2018. Thank you to all of our referees for their ongoing support, without you this achievement would not have been possible. To view the full results please click here.

Our CEO, Derek Jenkins adds, “We are delighted to have won this prestigious national award which reflects the great work St John’s has achieved and recognises Chambers’ as a leading set.”

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