#RoundMyKitchenTable: Legal Profession’s Transformation Could Be ‘King’s Cross-Like’

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By Alex Aldridge on

The new roof at King's Cross station

Within walking distance of central London, and just two hours from Paris by Eurostar, King’s Cross makes a perfect base for leading up-and-coming lawyers in an increasingly international world.

It is no coincidence, then, that this is the part of town which Bircham Dyson Bell A-lister Kevin Poulter has chosen to call home.

“It is humble, I know, but it is enough for Kevin Poulter,” says Poulter as he shows me and fellow guests, trainee solicitors Aisleen Pugh and Mark Gilmartin, around his lavish penthouse apartment (pictured right).

Still munching on a pain au chocolat purchased just hours earlier from his favourite 6th arrondissement deli, Poulter adds: “But now we must record the podcast as my friend Jim Carver from The Bill will be here any moment.” Then he ushers us into his lounge, which he has had tastefully adorned with rose petals for the occasion. “OUT MARTA!” he thunders at the maid.

Getting down to business, we discuss the rise of solicitor-advocates and what the phenomenon means for junior barristers, while predicting how the legal world could change in the years ahead.

Will the Bar, whose low overheads mean that its members are generally still considered good value, stage a comeback? Or will law firms who do everything under one roof push publicly-funded barristers out of business once the legal aid cuts are made?

And in this environment of uncertainty, what route should wannabe litigators take?

After thirty minutes of sparkling conversation, Jim Carver (pictured left with Kevin) arrives.

“I remember this area fifteen years ago, Kev, from back when I was filming The Bill. It was filled with prostitutes and junkies in those days,” he says, adding: “Don’t be surprised if the legal profession undergoes changes on a similar scale.”

The podcast is also available on iTunes.