Guy Adams and Nicholas Pointon take part in annual moot competition for University of Bristol

Guy AdamsCommercial and chancery barristers Guy Adams and Nicholas Pointon took part in the annual University of Bristol lecturers’ moot competition on 10th February at the Wills Memorial Building.

Guy adopted the role of a Supreme Court Justice and heard argument from four of the university’s lecturers on the scope of protection afforded to the manifestation of non-relgious beliefs under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Nicholas PointonThe lecturers who took part were Professor Michael Ford QC, Professor Antonia Layard, Dr Albert Sanchez-Graells and our very own Nicholas Pointon.

The moot was attended by over 150 students of the university and has raised in excess of £300 for the Avon and Bristol Law Centre.

For further details about Avon and Bristol Law Centre, please visit:

Family barrister Jack Harris takes part in annual moot for Bristol Young Resolution

Jack HarrisFamily barrister Jack Harris took part in the annual moot for the Bristol Young Resolution on 10th February at The University of Law in Bristol.

Jack played the role of a litigant in person who was the applicant husband, and Gemma Borkowski of Albion Chambers was counsel for the respondent wife.  They dealt with issues of the instruction of expert reports, interim periodical payments, and legal services payment orders.  Following the moot, District Judge Exton gave her top tips for FDA’s, and Jack gave advice on the instruction of experts in financial remedy proceedings.

This event was extremely successful, and in attendance were students from The University of Law and Young Resolution lawyers. Dianne Martin, Nick Miller and Luke Hodgson from our family team also came to watch.

Special thanks go to District Judge Exton for supporting the event again this year, The University of Law for hosting, and Sarah Green the recently elected Chair of the National Young Resolution for organising. Our family team would like to congratulate Sarah Green on her recent election.

For more information about the Bristol Young Resolution, please visit:

Lucy Reed guests on BBC Radio 4 discussion ‘Splitting the Assets’

Lucy ReedLucy Reed, member of our family practice group takes part in a programme for BBC Radio 4 called ‘Splitting the Assets’, airing at 8.00pm on 3rd February.

BBC Radio 4 describe this programme as a glimpse behind closed doors of the Family Courts to hear from divorcing couples forced to struggle, without the help of lawyers, through the complex and emotionally fraught court process of dividing their financial assets.

Lucy and panellists Sir Paul Coleridge (retired High Court Judge), Nicola Mattheson-Durrant (Professional McKenzie Friend) and Marc Mason from the University of Westminster discuss the experiences of litigants in person dealing with financial remedy cases in the family court.

Resources out there to help litigants in person can be found at: This website contains both links local to the Bristol area and nationally applicable resources and information.

Listen to programme on BBC Radio 4 website: Splitting the Assets

View Lucy’s blog: Pink Tape

St John’s Chambers welcomes family law barrister Graeme Harrison

Graeme HarrisonCalled to the bar in 1997 Graeme Harrison joins St John’s Chambers’ Family Practice Group from 12 College Place, Southampton.

Graeme is a specialist child law barrister with extensive knowledge and experience in public law, representing local authorities, parents and other family members, and children’s guardians in a large number of cases. He also has experience in private law applications and appears regularly in the Court of Protection.

Graeme is known for his calm and patient manner. He has considerable experience of working with clients with mental health difficulties and learning disabilities.

Judi Evans, Head of the Family Practice Group said: “We are delighted  to welcome Graeme to St John’s Chambers. Graeme adds further strength and depth to our Family Team and will ensure we can continue to offer our clients fantastic cover at all levels – he has proved himself to be popular with instructing solicitors and lay clients because of his  down-to-earth approach and his ability to get on with people.”

Graeme Harrison said: “St John’s has such a fantastic reputation that I had no hesitation in accepting the offer of tenancy. Luke and the other clerks have really pulled out the stops to make my move from Southampton to Bristol as smooth as possible – I’m really grateful for all their help in getting things organised. The family team have been so welcoming and their enthusiasm is infectious. I’m looking forward to getting to know Bristol better and working with everyone.”

If you would like to discuss instructing Graeme, please contact his clerks on 0117 923 4720 or e-mail .

View profile: Graeme Harrison

Tom Leeper represents Interested Party in inquest into death of Private Gavin Williams

Tom LeeperTom Leeper, a member of our inquests team, represented an Interested Party in the inquest into the death of Private Gavin Williams, which concluded on 8 January 2016.

Private Williams was serving with 2nd Battalion, The Royal Welsh when he died in July 2006 having been subjected to a physical punishment at Lucknow Barracks in Tidworth, Wiltshire.

Three non-commissioned officers were acquitted of his manslaughter in 2008. The inquest sat for 26 days and heard evidence from over 100 witnesses, 61 of whom gave live evidence.

The coroner returned the following narrative conclusion: “Gavin died as a result of imposition of unofficial physical punishment in the form of marching drill and physical exercise conducted on a very hot day. This punishment was part of a system of such unofficial punishments operating in the Battalion which the chain of command had failed to identify or prevent. The exertion from the marching drill and the physical exercise, combined with the effects of Gavin’s recent use of ecstasy, led to the onset of hyperthermia. Gavin’s symptoms of hyperthermia included involuntary aggressive behaviour, as a result of which he was restrained. The effect of Gavin’s struggle against this restraint further contributed to the hyperthermia. Gavin was taken to Salisbury District Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 16.26 on 3 July 2006.”

This case has received national press coverage which you can view by clicking the following links: The Independent  The Guardian  ITV News

View profile: Tom Leeper

Competition law expert Matthew O’Regan quoted in recent Politico article on European Commission antitrust investigation into Google

Matthew O'ReganMatthew O’Regan member of our competition law team has recently been quoted in Politico article on European Commission antitrust investigation into Google.

The article relates to the case of a French SME complaining about how the Commission handled its antitrust complaint against Google.

View article: Firm lambasts Commission, alleges ‘blank check’ to Google

TrailWalker Challenge 2016

Ben Handy

Ben Handy

On 22nd July members of St John’s Chambers are undertaking the TrailWalker Challenge 2016. Described as an “unforgettable endurance challenge”, the event raises money for Oxfam and the Gurkha Welfare Trust. Ben Handy, of our Personal Injury team, Charlie Newington-Bridges, Adam Boyle and Joss Knight of our Commercial and Chancery team will trek 100 km in 30 hours. This event is a physical and mental challenge which Ben Handy, organiser of the St John’s Chambers team, has previously experienced,  “I tried the Oxfam’s Trailtrekker a few years ago (a similar challenge to TrailWalker only in the Pennines) and I had to pull out at 65km, so I can vouch for how hard this will be.”

Charlie Newington-Bridges

Charlie Newington-Bridges

The motivation behind this challenge is the two excellent charities “The opportunity to raise money for Oxfam and the Gurkha Welfare Trust is a big attraction, we hope to raise at least £1,400 and hopefully more which will be put to very good use by the two charities.” Says Ben. Oxfam works in over 90 countries, fighting poverty by responding to emergencies, through development projects and campaigns to tackle the root causes.

Please visit the teams JustGiving page to donate:

Adam Boyle

Adam Boyle

Trailwalker also raises money for The Gurkha Welfare Trust, which was founded in 1969 when it was realised that thousands of ex-Gurkha servicemen and their widows were living in destitution in the hill villages of Nepal. Today, The Gurkha Welfare Trust is working in both Nepal and the UK. The focus of its work is caring for the elderly Gurkha soldiers and their widows in Nepal who are dependent on the Trust for a dignified secure old age. It provides a monthly Welfare Pension, a Winter Fuel Allowance and emergency Hardship grants. It also looks after all their medical needs, from GP care to long-term hospital treatment.

Joss Knight 2

Joss Knight

“This trek presents a great opportunity to have fun with a few friends…the fact that it’s all for a great cause makes it even better”, says Adam. Joss, who grew up in the Lake District and has always enjoyed walking is looking forward to the “physical and mental challenge”.

The team are  now well into their training programme with individuals taking part in Marathons this year in preparation and as a team they are making the most of every opportunity to go running, swimming and walking in the hills. Charlie is also enlisting the help of his children “I have three small children who put me under constant pressure to run around the garden so they will be helping with my training.”

Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence Clerk, Adam Marston ,will be supporting the team by following them around the South Downs by car on their 30 hour trek

Judi Evans speaks to BBC Radio 3 Counties on removals of babies from mothers

Judy_Evans-300x198Head of our family practice group, Judi Evans was interviewed on BBC Radio 3 Counties on the destructive repeat cycle of removals of babies from mothers.

Judi discussed the cost of removal, lack of therapeutic intervention coupled with LARC, funding for Pause, the need to role it out nationally, and the need for intervention. Judi was then joined by Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Director, Dr Freda Gardner.

You can listen to Judi’s interview on the BBC Radio 3 Counties website: Jonathan Vernon-Smith phone-in – babies in care

View profile: Judi Evans

Chambers raise over £3,000 at charity golf day for AvMA

AvMA Panel 2015 021

Left to right – Derek Jenkins (CEO – St John’s Chambers), Hugh Williams (Deputy CEO – AvMA) Gill Savage (Patient Helpline Manager – AvMA)

St John’s Chambers organised a Charity Golf Day & Dinner at The Bristol Golf Club on 30th September 2015 in aid of AvMA (Action against Medical Accidents), the charity for patient safety and justice, raising the fabulous sum of £3,285.

34 golfers completed the 18-hole 4 ball Stableford competition in the beautiful Autumn sunshine with ARAG taking first place and St John’s coming in a close second. A sterling effort was put in by sponsors Paragon Costs, who had never played golf before and had been training all summer for this golf day. Other teams that participated were from Withy King, Foot Anstey LLP and Wyvern Partnership.

We would like to say a big thank you to Paragon Costs for sponsoring the event, Scott Law for donating the fantastic goody bags, Gemini West for printing the programmes and to all that donated prizes for the raffle.

In particular we thank all those who supported us in raising much needed funds for our chosen charity, AvMA.

Philip Walker, Fundraising Manager (AvMA) said: “A big thank you to the team at St John’s Chambers; it was the best golf day so far. The support we receive from organisations such as St John’s – and all those who took part in the Golf Event – is vital in helping us raise awareness about Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA).  The money raised from the golf day is being used to support families as part of our pro-bono inquest service and work on prevention of future deaths. As many as 10 families will be helped thanks to St John’s Chambers.”

For more information about the charity, please visit:  

Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for the New Year from everyone at St John’s Chambers

iStock_000010812330Large2Over the festive period, Chambers will be closed from 5:00pm on Wednesday, 23rd December and will re-open from 9:30am until 4:00pm on Tuesday 29th December through to Thursday 31st December.

We will open again for normal business hours on Monday, 4th January 2016.

For any emergency enquiries, please see our out of hours numbers.