Are all barristers as rude as the ones I work with?

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One junior clerk hopes there are nicer lawyers out there

In the latest instalment in our Career Conundrums series, one junior clerk can’t hold his tongue on what he thinks about his colleagues.

“I am currently a junior clerk in London and have lately been helping one of my members with a long trial. The case involves numerous opposing counsel and they’re just so unbelievably rude. When I see them, they either stand there huffing and puffing like the big bad wolf or will sometimes just force their way past me in the corridor. They seem to have not heard of thanks or please — or anything else polite for that matter! Are all barristers this rude?”

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'Lord Harley of Counsel'

Slow news day today



Unfortunately rude barristers grow up to be rude judges. I won’t forget Judge Gerald in a hurry. One of the rudest men I’ve ever met.


Judge Gerald

How dare you!


Da Big J

HHJ Gerald and the CLCC Gang$taz innit – Thomas More is ma territory bitchez
Geraldz here to chew bubblegum and kick cost budgets, and he’s all out of bubblegum #RCJlyfe #RcJbItChEZ


Da Big G

HHJ Gerald and the CLCC Gang$taz innit – Thomas More is ma territory bitchez
Geraldz here to chew bubblegum and kick cost budgets, and he’s all out of bubblegum #RCJlyfe #RcJbItChEZ



My milkshake brings all the boys to bear garden and they’re like it’s betta than yours, damn right it’s betta than yours I can teach you but I have to (refuse to your application for relief from r3.14)

Jeez are you SEERIUS it’s been around for like 10 years lolz


I was a barrister for 10 years until I got sick to death of being surrounded by cretinous arseholes.



Not as rude as bptc students on their first day at bar skool



During a mini-pupillage I witnessed a barrister explain what he’d like do to another barrister’s mother in the robing room.



Was he explaining it in the robing room or did he want to do it in the robing room, or both?


Mr Charles

It’s a mix. Some are genuinely lovely. Others are entitled jerks whose manners are simply terrible. Like all walks all of life, it’s a mixed bag. Don’t let dickish behaviour and poor manners get to you. Rise above it.



Sweeping generalisation



All sweeping generalisations are fine



Sadly clerks can be treated like second class citizens. My advice is to avoid being a court facing clerk and focus more on the business development side of chambers. While you are junior and it may be hard try to align yourself with a mentor in chambers that deals with BD and tag along to events. The trick is to evolve your job role over time so it no longer reflects your job contract.



You obviously don’t know much about the clerking career pyramid; hauling bundles to court is the entry level, working up to contact with solicitors, fixing diaries, negotiating fees and (at the top) business development (or, as it used to be known, boozing and taking sols to lap dancing clubs). Your advice is like suggesting to a new tenant that in order to avoid his income being eroded by travel costs, he sticks to cases in the Royal Courts of Justice.



No, the suggestion is to make an early connection and try to convert the role gradually and avoid the traditional route.



They are rude and force past you because they can see they can get away with it.

Why don’t you grab your nuts and stand up to the plebs?



Most lawyers are rude. It’s a combination of stress, misplaced feelings of self-importance and most commonly (I have found), insecurity.



Nail. Head.



It’s just an inbuilt superiority complex. You must be one of the few clerks without an inbuilt subservient streak. You’ll go far. Probably not as a clerk though.



Are *all* barristers as rude as the ones I work with?

Yes every single barrister is as rude, if not ruder, than the ones you work with.



I have met some lovely down to earth barristers, including very senior QCs. I have also met exceptionally arrogant pupils. It’s a mixed bag really.


A barrister

I think this is all probably due to a conflict between the professions. Clerks will sweet talk you and be overly nice when they’re being a shit to you. Barristers just say it how it is.



Don’t worry about it. They are just a bunch of cunts playing dress up.



Mate just swipe left and move on



Can’t wait for the next career conundrum:

“I’m a bear and been told that I ought to defecate in a wooded area. I’m not sure if I should. Any advice?”



Does the Pope shit in his hat?



Or in the woods?



Or in the woods, in his hat?



Or in the woods, in his hat, with a bear for company and mutual reassurance?


Ive asked you not to say that Hank



Are all clerks going to fuck you over on a regular basis with half truths about work and fees?



And then when the aged debt creeps in, fob you off and tell you that they ‘don’t want to rock the boat with these sols, sir, they give a lot of work to chambers’….



I’d like to see a proper LC article on this aspect of the Bar – especially at the junior end. Anonymous interviews with junior barristers across all fields of practice (commercial, chancery, family, public, criminal etc) about aged debt/getting paid/how often sols delay badly. I know that it affects all areas of practice, but obviously some much more than others (notably, criminal).

Now, a proper investigative article on junior barristers’ cash flow problems – LC I’ve given you the idea, run with it please! 🙂



I’m a junior barrister. 5 years call. Chancery. I’ve billed around £1m since I was taken on. I’ve never had a debt owed for more than 6 months. Most pay comfortably within 3 months.



That’s much better than I would have imagined. I’m thinking of ‘trying’ to switch over myself. If you don’t mind me asking is that typical? or are you at one of the best Chancery sets (e.g. Serle, Maitland, Erskine, Wilberforce, South Square)?


I’m from a chancery set and that is not average.


So not one of the better sets the op mentioned then.


His/her total at 5y.c. would be more than £1m at those sets…


Not at all. 5 years call = 4 years of practice post-pupillage. An average of £250k pa is perfectly respectable (plenty of people at the sets mentioned will bill less than this over their first 4 years).


Notably criminal? That’s mainly the LAA not Solicitors



Nope. Since the system went digital in October last year, the LAA pays within 2 weeks of submission. Cases have to finish first though (which tends to be the delay). Also clerks do not always submit claims when cases finish.

Rumpole Stilt Skin

I’m owed around 15k from the LAA for a Family matter that concluded 6 years ago. Left the Bar 4 years ago. Cash flow was always a massive problem.


Why havent you sued them? Having left the bar it is not as if you have a working relationship to maintain?


Well if you think that barristers are bad, wait until you read my story…

I am a 10 year PQE solicitor who is on her notice period.
The current trainee ask for my advice, I provided my opinion on the matter. I got told by a trainee solicitor, yes you read that right, a trainee, that she was the ‘lawyer’ on this particular matter and my advice was incorrect on a complex tax matter, which she has had for about 4 seconds and no training on!!!
The next day she asks to speak with me. I entertain.
She asks for help. My answer… NO



Yowza. You know, it’s perfectly possible for a more experienced lawyer to make the wrong call, and for a less experienced lawyer to spot this. And if the trainee asked you for your advice on how to deal with a matter, that doesn’t make it your matter and not hers – she was quite correct that if she has carriage of the matter she needs to make her own call on what the right decision is.

Rather than being blown away by the audacity of a junior lawyer expressing a different view to you, you should have explained to her why she was incorrect. Refusing her help because she had disagreed with her on a question of law is super-unprofessional.

Sounds like your firm will be better off without you.


Just a bloody NQ

I am a 0 year PQE solicitor who is on her period.



Tampons, pads or nappies?


Charlotte Proudperson

Typical cis-gender patriarchal oppressive comment. You wait, I shall slate you in The Guardian.



None, of course. I go completely natural.


Dr Frankenstein

Do you work for Legal Cheek?



Every commercial litigation solicitor has a story about an unbelievably rude barrister. It’s not uncommon for associates to be made to cry by a particularly pompous silk, often when no mistake has been made but the barrister just wants to exert some authority.

Problem is they tend to be good at their jobs and butter up the partners, so a lot of them get away with appalling behaviour.



He is rude Mr immigration Barrister, he’s been kicked out from office, for Multi Million Pound fraudster, owes money to tax man. If anyone knows where he lives pls join the conversation on this blob there will be a reward.


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