#RoundMyKitchenTable: Do the Inns of Court Need Modernising?

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Why do the Inns of Court make public their combined £4.7m scholarship fund, but refuse to disclose the revenue they generate from their massive property portfolios? Inner Temple recruitment manager Anthony Dursi sheds some light on this bugbear of journalist Alex Aldridge, while corporate lawyer Kevin Poulter wonders out loud whether anyone really cares.

There’s also inside info on Inns scholarships. Which Inns interview all applicants? Which award according to need? Which award on merit only?

Plus Dursi, Aldridge and Poulter share their contrasting views on Occupy London’s plan to conduct mock trials of bankers in a disused Old Street coutroom. And Dursi reveals how Inner Temple felt about last year’s bid by a disgruntled law graduate to occupy the Inns of Court.

For #RoundMyKitchenTable on iTunes, click here.

For a transcript of the podcast, click here.

Transcript provided by Stretlaw.com Your access to Legal Education, 2011



Very entertaining- got me terribly interested in the sums of money the Inns bring in now!


I say it with love

Is it just me or was the PR man from Inner Temple an arse?

The Inns may indeed have charitable status. Nevertheless, and unlike other charities, they carry out a Public function: they have the sole power to call men and women to the Bar of England & Wales.

I was therefore astounded to read that the Inns are exempt from Freedom of Information and Public accounting.

I suspect the attitude exhibited by Mr Dursi when pressed about the lack of transparency may have been one of the reasons why the Inns have had to cede power to the Bar Standards Board.

While the non-practising stockholm syndrome cultists continue to bang the drum for their Inn, I did have to laugh at all the “positives” they and Mr Dursi list:

1. Advocacy training – Practising barristers pay for this.

2. Subsided dinners – Yay. See Alex’s piece re whether knife & fork skills are genuine job related requirements.

3. They hold moot competitions – Given they enjoy charitable status, no doubt education is one of their aims.

4. They give scholarships – See 3 above.

The point some are failing to appreciate is that charitable institutions enjoy a special tax status. As Alex observes, on the one hand, the Inns rake it in with chambers and others’ rent and associated businesses – and on the other, they get special tax treatment because of their status.

And I’m supposed to be hysterically grateful because they throw a bone to students?

The Bar will continue to be stuck in the Dark Ages unless and until they open their books for all to see.


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