The Legal Cheek View
If you wander down Middle Temple Lane from the Strand, you reach a big arch at the bottom over which sit several stories of a grand-looking building. On the other side of the arch is Victoria Embankment and the Thames. Inside that grand building, with views out both up Middle Temple Lane, over the river and onto the neighbouring Inner Temple Gardens, is civil set 2 Temple Gardens (2TG).
It’s not a bad place to go to work every day. “We have some of the best views in legal London,” one of the chambers’ members tells us – the well-appointed arbitration room is a particular fave. Another describes the building as fostering “a lovely Dickensian chic atmosphere”. Although beware that the Grade 2 listed building has “a knack of being cold in winter and hot in summer”.
Founded over 70 years ago in number two, the set has since spread across number one and number three Temple Gardens. It is home to 60 barristers, 14 of them QCs, and offers two or three pupillages each year. They work across two main areas: common law and commercial law. The common law side includes personal injury, clinical negligence and employment. The commercial work centres around company disputes, fraud and banking & finance. 2TG also does a fair bit of insurance work. Insiders describe the work as “incredibly varied”.
What The Junior Barristers Say
It was the quality of work at 2 Temple Gardens (2TG) that drew junior barrister Ruth Kennedy to the set. “Members of chambers have appeared in decisions all the way up to the Supreme Court in our areas of work,” she says.
2TG covers a broad range of practice across the civil and commercial spectrum. This breadth was also important to Kennedy, who was called to the bar in 2015, as she was keen to gain experience in a variety of areas.
Housed in a distinctive white Victorian listed building overlooking the Thames, 2TG is home to 62 practising barristers. They work together in spacious shared rooms; Kennedy has two other junior barrister roommates. “Our room has an amazing view overlooking the wide lawns of Inner Temple Garden,” she says.
During pupillage, Kennedy completed her first seat in clinical negligence and personal injury, and her second in professional negligence and insurance. In her third seat, part of her role included working for the government on the Mau Mau litigation, a high-profile case involving over 40,000 claimants alleging abuse arising out of the 1950s Kenyan uprising, a case which she is still working on.