‘I have called in a panic from the bathrooms of courts and there has always been someone to help me’
From “very active” juniors’ WhatsApp groups to the set’s most illustrious silk offering a helping hand; having the support from your chamber mates can make all the difference, particularly in a profession considered to be hyper competitive and fairly solitary.
We put the question ‘How supportive are your colleagues?’ to over 600 bar rookies at 50 leading sets, as part of this year’s Legal Cheek survey. Respondents then rated their chambers for colleague support on a scale from one to ten — with one defined as ‘Dog-eat-dog’, and ten as ‘Vegan commune’.
Ten sets stood out from the rest. Below are the results, listed alphabetically, for best chambers for colleague supportiveness 2020.
The winner will be announced at the Legal Cheek Awards 2020 at Sea Containers, London, on Thursday 26 March.
- 1 Crown Office Row
- 2 Temple Gardens
- 5 Essex Court
- Cornerstone Barristers
- Exchange Chambers
- Hailsham Chambers
- Henderson Chambers
- Keating Chambers
- Landmark Chambers
As part of this year’s survey we received hundreds of anonymous comments from barristers on the support they receive from their peers. Comments varied from “we keep each other sane” to “we’re genuinely friends, not just colleagues”. Here are a select few from some of the chambers listed above:
How supportive are your colleagues?
“Almost anyone (however busy) is ready and willing to proffer advice, and if you have an issue to think things through and provide a considered answer. People regularly send ‘hive mind’ emails within chambers, asking whether anyone has come across a particularly tricky issue, or has experience of a particular jurisdiction or (more esoteric) type of hearing.”
“I have called in a panic from the bathrooms of courts on more than one occasion and there has always been someone to help me.”
“It’s a great community — I can always find multiple people to help talk something over and we’re genuinely friends, not just colleagues. Going on holiday with other members of chambers is very common, especially at the junior end.”
“We have a very active juniors’ WhatsApp group which is invaluable for novel or tricky legal questions. There is also a juniors’ BBQ over the summer.”
“Hugely supportive colleagues (behind one’s back as well as to one’s face — often hearing from solicitors how a colleague has bigged us up to them).”
“Outstandingly supportive colleagues who are prepared to interrupt whatever they are doing to help, encourage and guide junior members of chambers (and everyone else for that matter) without making you feel a twit.”
The winning chambers will be announced at the Legal Cheek Awards 2020 at Sea Containers, London, on Thursday 26 March.