News


St John’s Chambers win ‘Chambers of the Year 2018’

We are delighted to announce that St John’s Chambers were voted ‘Chambers of the Year 2018-2019′ at the Bristol Law Society Annual Awards Dinner on 11th October 2018. The event was held at the Marriott Hotel, Bristol and raised funds for The Freewheelers blood bikes, a registered charity supporting the NHS in South West England by providing a free emergency motorcycle courier service. The award is given to a Chambers that is able to demonstrate excellence and innovation in the provision of legal services above and beyond their colleagues in the field including CSR activities.

This award coincides with Chambers celebrating 40 years in business, and we continue to strive to be a modern and progressive set with barristers, clerks and management being the driving force behind innovative projects.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our clients, old and new, who have supported us and made this achievement possible.

St John’s Chambers is consistently recognised by independent awards for its expertise in a broad range of specialist areas of law. Our barristers and chambers are regular winners and shortlisted both locally and nationally.

Susan Hunter, Head of Chambers said: “St John’s Chambers is proud to receive this recognition of all we have achieved both in and out of court this year.  We look forward to continuing to serve all who need us in Bristol and the West Country.”

Photographed above from left to right is: Rachel Segal, Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence Barrister; Anita Young, Events Manager & Marketing Coordinator; Sophie Smith-Holland, Family & Divorce Barrister; Susan Hunter, Head of Chambers; Robert Bocock, Commercial & Chancery Practice Manager; Harriet Dudbridge, Family & Divorce Barrister and Annie Sampson, Commercial & Chancery Barrister.

St John’s Chambers welcomes four new tenants

It is with great pleasure we announce that all four of our current pupils: Annie Sampson (commercial and chancery); Jonathan Lindfield (personal injury and clinical negligence); Sophie Smith-Holland (family & divorce) and Harriet Dudbridge (family & divorce) have become tenants at St John’s Chambers following their successful pupillage.

Annie Sampson

Annie successfully completed her specialist pupillage within the commercial and chancery practice group and is now building on that experience to develop a broad commercial and chancery practice. Annie’s experience includes commercial disputes, including applications for interim relief; partnership disputes, in particular in an agricultural context; boundary disputes; adverse possession claims; personal insolvency; the construction and validity of wills; and 1975 Act claims.

As a result of her work as a County Court advocate before commencing pupillage, Annie also has extensive experience of residential landlord and tenant and mortgage possession proceedings. This is something which Annie has continued to build on in practice, including a one-day possession trial to evict a tenant on the basis of breach of his tenancy agreement due to anti-social behavior.

Read more about Annie

“We have been very impressed by Annie’s intellect, and ability as an advocate and a lawyer.  We look forward to working with her as a valued member of the commercial and chancery team.”
Christopher Jones, Pupil Supervisor

If you would like to instruct Annie, or have any questions, please contact her clerks:

Jonathan Lindfield

Jonathan successfully completed his pupillage under the supervision of Ben Handy and Emma Zeb. During pupillage, Jonathan has specialised in all aspects of personal injury and clinical negligence work. He has a busy practice made up of both court work and paperwork, and acts regularly for both claimants and defendants. He enjoyed a busy second six, having been regularly instructed in small claim and fast-track matters, as well as on interim bases for higher-value claims. He is well-experienced in providing detailed, clear, tactically sound advice on all aspects of the litigation process, as well as a real proficiency for courtroom advocacy. Jonathan has also drafted a number of pleadings, questions to experts, as well as a range of other documents.

He is an approachable, personable advocate who has a down-to-earth approach with both lay and professional clients. Having previously volunteered in a high street solicitors’ firm, he understands the challenges faced by those instructing him and endeavours to reflect that in his attitude towards paperwork and cases in general. He is happy to accept work on a CFA basis in suitable cases.

Read more about Jonathan

“Jonathan is another excellent addition to the team. Since the day he joined St John’s he has shown an awful lot of talent, and put in a lot of hard work. He has a very bright future ahead of him.” 
Ben Handy, Pupil Supervisor

If you would like to instruct Jonathan, or have any questions, please contact his clerks:

Harriet Dudbridge

Harriet successfully completed her pupillage under the supervision of Susan Hunter. Harriet joins St John’s Chambers as a Justice First Fellow, a scheme devised by the LegalEducation Foundation for the next generation of social welfare lawyers. She is accepting instructions in the following areas: Children – Private Law & Public Law, Schedule 1 Children Act 1989, Divorce & Financial Remedies, Part IV Family Law Act 1996 (Domestic Violence) and ToLATA 1996 matters. She is regularly instructed in a variety of hearings from FHDRA’s to finding of fact and final hearings.

Harriet represents clients in FLA 1996 proceedings, obtaining non-molestation orders at contested hearings and also dealing with cross undertakings where appropriate. She has represented clients in cases involving neglect, substance misuse, immigration issues and domestic abuse. Harriet also represents applicants and respondents in financial remedy proceedings, including FDAs and FDRs, as well as accepting instructions in applications brought under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 and ToLATA 1996.

Harriet gained direct public children experience when working with volunteers in child protection where she was placed with a family with children on a child protection plan.

Read more about Harriet

“Harriet is already a skilled advocate and has developed a thriving practice during pupillage.  We are delighted to welcome her to the family team.” 
Susan Hunter, Head of Chambers

“I am delighted to join St John’s Chambers as a tenant and am very much looking forward to building my practice in all areas of family law.”
Harriet Dudbridge

If you would like to instruct Harriet, or have any questions, please contact her clerks:

Sophie Smith-Holland

Sophie successfully completed her specialist family pupillage under the supervision of Judi Evans and Andrew Commins. Sophie is building a busy practice in the following areas: Children – Private Law & Public Law, Divorce & Financial Remedies, Schedule 1 Children Act 1989, Part IV – Family Law Act 1996 (Domestic Violence) and ToLATA 1996 matters. Examples of her most recent successes at court are: obtaining an order to secure the return of a child from Scotland and proving allegations of domestic abuse, physical harm, emotional harm, sexual harassment and sexual assault after fact-finding hearings lasting several days.

Sophie worked for over 2 years in the family team of a highly respected national law firm. During this time she assisted on a variety of private and public law children matters. Consequently, she has a unique ability to view cases from the perspectives of both her professional and lay clients. She was recently awarded “highly commended” in the Bar Council’s Law Reform Essay Competition for her essay on the need for no fault divorce in England and Wales.

Read more about Sophie

“Sophie joins the department with already a considerable amount of experience in family law having worked for both a local authority and a highly regarded firm of solicitors.  Sophie’s clear and persuasive advocacy skills attracted praise from early on in her pupillage, and we have all been impressed by Sophie’s ability, and enthusiasm. We  look forward to working with her as a valued member of the team.” Judi Evans, Head of Family team, and Pupil Supervisor

“I am thrilled to have become a member of St John’s Chambers and am very much looking forward to continuing to expand my (already busy!) practice across all areas of family law.”
Sophie Smith-Holland

If you would like to instruct Sophie, or have any questions, please contact her clerks:

St John’s Chambers welcomes family law barrister Olivia Pike

St John’s Chambers is pleased to announce Olivia Pike, formerly of 30 Park Place, Cardiff, will be joining the St John’s Family Practice Group from 10th September, and is already accepting instructions.

Olivia is a specialist family law barrister with a focus on all aspects of children law. She arrives with an established practice and accepts instructions in public and private law cases. She represents local authorities, parents, extended family members, interveners and children (separately or by their Guardians). Her expertise includes cases involving allegations of sexual abuse, non-accidental injury, domestic abuse, emotional abuse, chronic neglect and drug and alcohol abuse.

Olivia also undertakes all aspects of education law, advising and representing local authorities, schools, parents and students at the Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales (SENTW), First-Tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability – SENDIST) and County Court.

In suitable cases, Olivia accepts instructions to act directly from members of the public.

Olivia said: “I am delighted to be joining St John’s Chambers, which has an excellent reputation. I am looking forward to expanding my practice into the South West, as well as continuing to work in Wales.”

Judi Evans, Head of the Family Practice Group said: “We warmly welcome Olivia to our Family Practice Group. She is a well-known and respected family law practitioner, and adds further strength in depth to our busy team of 28 barristers, as well as enhancing our capacity to meet the demands of our family law clients.”

View profile: Olivia Pike

If you would like to instruct Olivia on any related matter, please contact her clerks: .

Bethany Hardwick shortlisted for Family Law Commentator of the Year

We are delighted to announce that Bethany Hardwick, specialist family law barrister has been shortlisted for ‘Family Law Commentator of the Year’ by Family Law Awards 2018. As well as her extensive experience in financial remedy proceedings and children private and public law work, Bethany is a keen legal commentator and contributor to Jordan’s Family Law Online.

The awards ceremony is being held on Wednesday, 28 November in London. We wish Bethany and all other nominees every success for the awards and would like to take this time to congratulate her again on this great achievement.

View profile: Bethany Hardwick

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.  

Transparency in the Family Courts

Member of our Family Team, Lucy Reed, has recently published an article for Bloomsbury Law Online titled ‘Lucy Reed on Transparency in the Family Courts’. The article looks at why transparency is important and why attempts by local authorities to manage reputations can be counterproductive. In addition to her online publication Lucy has also co-authored a new book ‘Transparency in the Family Courts: Publicity and Privacy in Practice’ which is available from Bloomsbury. She will also be co-presenting a talk on Transparency in Chambers this summer, as part of our free family training session series.

Please contact her clerks  | 0117 923 4720

 

High praise for St John’s Family Team after another successful training event on Civil Remedies in Family Proceedings

Thank you so much St John’s for always delivering wonderful informative, honest and topical CPD.

Earlier this week, St John’s Chambers Family Team hosted the second in the series of their free training events; Civil Remedies in Family Proceedings. The event saw Asha Pearce-Groves and Julia Belyavin present talks on ‘A practical guide to Human Rights Act claims in family proceedings’ and ‘Financial remedies in children proceedings’. Delegates gave great feedback with comments such as “Very clear and while a gloomy topic, delivered with humour and hope.

The next event in our series will be on Thursday, 17 May 2018 from 5 pm – 6 pm, titled; Vulnerable Witnesses. You can follow the new series of training events and book your place in the next few weeks via Twitter, searching the hashtag #SJCfamily18 or via our website by clicking here.

“This highly regarded set offers an impressive group of family barristers with a fine track record in an array of complex disputes. Members are frequently instructed in financial remedy cases involving international assets for married and unmarried couples. The set also remains a strong choice for private law children proceedings and jurisdictional disputes in relation to private law children.” Chambers UK, Family/Matrimonial (2018)

St John’s Chambers congratulates Kathryn Skellorn QC & Emma Zeb on their appointment as Recorders

We are delighted to announce that our members Kathryn Skellorn QC and Emma Zeb have each been appointed to sit as a Recorder by the Judicial Office. The appointments will take effect from 4 April 2018

Kathryn and Emma have been deployed to sit on the Western Circuit.

Head of Chambers, Susan Hunter says “I am delighted to hear that Kathryn and Emma have been appointed as Recorders and I have no doubt they will show the same talent and commitment to the service of the wider public as they do in their practices.”

This year’s appointments sees a total of 133 Recorders appointed. A full list of the 2018 Recorder appointments along with their circuit allocation and deployment can be viewed by clicking here.

Kathryn Skellorn’s CV can be found here.

Emma Zeb’s CV can be found here.

Congratulations once again to both Kathryn and Emma

St John’s Chambers is presented with ‘Regional Set of the Year 2018’ award at Legal 500 UK Bar Awards

Chief Executive Derek Jenkins and Rob Bocock, Practice Manager at St John’s  Chambers attended the Legal 500 UK Bar 2018 Awards ceremony at The Royal Exchange in London on 22nd February to collect our prestigious award for ‘Regional Set of the Year’.

Derek JenkinsEach year Legal 500 carry out in-depth research across the whole of the UK legal sector to identify the best sets out there, and this award clearly recognises St John’s as a stand out national set.

Thank you to all of our referees for their on-going 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.”

St John’s Chambers delighted to announce Circuit Judge appointment of Susan Jacklin QC

Susan JacklinWe are delighted to announce that Susan Jacklin QC, Associate Member of our Family Practice Group, has been appointed by Her Majesty The Queen to be a Circuit Judge to the South Eastern Circuit, based at West London County Court with effect from 12 March 2018.

Susan has specialised in family law for 20 years; called to the Bar in 1980; took Silk in 2006 and was appointed as a Recorder in 1999. She has vast experience of dealing with a wide range of people and cases, not just on the Western Circuit but in South Wales, London and Birmingham. Her practice includes the full range of family finance work and children. In private law disputes she is able to advise and represent clients on finance and children issues.  Clients value the continuity of relationship between the two forms of dispute.

We congratulate Her Honour Judge Jacklin QC on such an amazing achievement and wish her all the best in her new appointment.

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