Comedy actor pokes fun at barrister-life with mockumentary

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By Rhys Duncan on


Inspired by stories from KC father

A comedy actor has been tapping into the growing legal presence on TikTok with a mockumentary that follows the escapades of a fictional commercial barrister.

Portrayed by actor Harry ter Haar, the fictional barrister ‘James Somerset’ leads viewers on an amusing journey through his chaotic life at the bar.

From tackling cases, to managing relations with his head of chambers and tenants, Somerset completes a checklist of all the things to avoid when carving out a career as a successful barrister.

ter Haar frequently shares clips from his comedy show, Barred, on TikTok, and has even gone to the extent of creating a LinkedIn profile for Somerset, where his workplace is listed as the fictional ‘Featherwood Chambers’.

The sketches frequently see Somerset parading around Temple, hanging out by the Royal Courts of Justice, and, as in the clip below, striding across Lincoln’s Inn Fields:

@james.somerset Bumped into judge Judy Atwood on the way to court this morning. Yet another judge who’s bowled over by my charm! With the brilliant and hilaruous @Shazia Mirza as Judge Jusy. #barred #angryjudge #idiotbarrister #shaziamirza #shaziamirzacomedian #inspiredbycruise #afewgoodmen #ukcomedy #lawyercomedy #howtocharmajudge #dontmatchwithjudgesondatingapps ♬ original sound – James Somerset

Beyond the comedy, the series also has ‘significant’ educational value. For example, if anyone was considering bringing in a family counsellor to boost their relationship with their head of chambers, take note:

@james.somerset This is why you don’t try to do family therapy with your boss. 🤦‍♂️🫣🙀🙈 . Was honoured to have the brilliant and hilarious Jordan Claire Robbins (Umbrella Academy) playing “Dr. Emma.”#barred #jamessomerset #therapygonewrong #umbrellaacademy #jordanclairerobbins #harryterhaar #nigelfyfe #dontdofamilytherapywithyourboss ♬ original sound – James Somerset

It’s also clear that Somerset still embodies a true law student personality, making everything in his life unnecessarily legal…

@james.somerset The great thing about being a barrister is knowing the best shows (aka cases) in town to take a date. I took the lucky Laura on a date to see Jennings vs Larson at the high court! Epic! #barred #barristerdate #idiotbarrister #internetdate😂 #lawyersketch #datingfail #datefail #jamessomerset #lawyercomedy ♬ original sound – James Somerset

And, like a law student, he can sometimes be a little overeager to make his point:

@james.somerset The most important attribute a barrister needs to win a case is by far and away razzle dazzle. Ideally prepped with a Wolf of Wall Street vocal warm up. #jamessomerset #razzledazzle #wolfofwallstreet #barred #barristercomedy #ukcomedy #barristerbanter #harryterhaar #solocitorsnightmare #poorsolicitor #oops ♬ original sound – James Somerset

Taking inspiration for the character from stories told by his KC father, the comedy actor described the series to Legal Cheek as: “a character-driven mockumentary that dives into the delusional working life of British barrister James Somerset who, perceiving himself as England’s answer to Tom Cruise in the guise of a British commercial barrister, has hired a camera crew to spotlight his so-called brilliance.”

“Yet, what the camera captures is quite the opposite — a prat-like individual with huge misplaced confidence, who’s doing just about all he can to wind up almost everyone at the bar,” ter Haar continues. “With a camera crew capturing his every blunder, James’s misadventures unfold against the backdrop of a legal world that he desperately tries to conquer.”

You can see more of the series on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.


Maybe just too old

When does the comedy start?

Arrest Him

Is it not a criminal offence to call yourself a barrister when you are not?


It should be a criminal offence to call yourself a comedian when you’re not. This is shockingly awful.

True but no one listens!

Tik Tok harvest your data for Chinese Communist Party.

That’s why civil service are banned from it.

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