About The Set
Exchange Chambers is one of a handful of full-service super-sets. It has over 150 barristers (among them 17 QCs) split between Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds practising in everything from commercial law to serious injury, public law and crime.
A high proportion of the major cases taking place within this North West and Yorkshire catchment area go through Exchange — with its roster of silks among the most respected outside London. One of the plusses of starting your career here is that you get to sample a mix of work before specialising as a junior tenant. The set is also said to offer a much better work-life balance than other leading chambers.
What The Junior Barristers Say
Exchange Chambers is the only set that Rachel Webster applied to: “Hand on heart, it’s the only CV I sent out, and I was ready to apply there every year,” she says.
There’s a “real open door” policy. This creates a “very welcoming” atmosphere, and the chambers “actively encourages people from all types of background” to socialise. “Don’t feel like you have to come from Oxbridge” to fit in. Webster also explains that if you’re new to the barrister world, you may worry that being self-employed is a lonely or isolating job. However, she stresses that at Exchange “you feel like you’re part of a family”. There is also hot-desking in all areas of chambers, which add to its strong “sense of community”.
Work culture at Exchange is social and inclusive. The chambers makes an effort “to organise social events that include everyone”, such as dinners, celebratory drinks, a fashion show to raise funds for a charity or a day at the York races. There’s plenty of opportunity to interact with barristers from “all levels of experience”. Mixing with people across all three of Exchange’s branches, Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds, is also encouraged: “They’re not treated as separate offices”.