The Legal Cheek View
“Totally absorbing: every case is like a massive chess match. Cutting edge law, global clients and v high stakes: what’s not to like? It’s why you come to the Bar,” says a respondent to the Legal Cheek Junior Barrister Survey. Silver Circle set 4 Pump Court offers a broad mix of high-end commercial practice from shipping to professional negligence, IT, banking, energy, arbitration, insurance and construction (probably its biggest cash cow). Newly minted barristers at this chambers can expect a variety of commercial work to come their way.
One tenant reports: “Probably the widest range of ‘technical’ commercial work at the bar rather than ‘all one thing’ ― from classic car frauds, to banking, to building power stations, to defending the Post Office’s IT systems: no day is ever the same.” According to another junior tenant at the set, one of the big draws is the chance to get “involved in really big-ticket commercial trials and arbitrations all the time, there’s a valuable balance between being led by QCs and doing proper advocacy on your own”.
Big cases of late include a freezing order against a major Russian oil refinery and a landmark international arbitration arising out of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico ten years ago. Last year, 4 Pump Court’s Edward Garnier QC and Anna Hoffmann acted for Sir John Major in his application against the proroguing of parliament. The set also boasts of its expertise in Islamic finance disputes, for those who can tell their murabaha from their sukuk.
What The Junior Barristers Say
Nestled away in Temple, the heart of legal London, you’ll find commercial set 4 Pump Court. So scenic is the location that you can pretty much guarantee you’ll come across a film crew shooting a movie during your time there. Disney blockbusters Mary Poppins Returns and Christopher Robin are just a few of the films shot a stone’s throw from chambers, which has grown in recent years to include a couple of annexes alongside its main premises.
4 Pump Court covers a broad spectrum of commercial work, yet it was chambers’ strength in technology and telecoms that drew junior barrister Rebecca Keating to the set. Her own background speaks to this: she worked at cloud storage and file sharing company Dropbox for a year after completing her law degree at Trinity College Dublin. She was part of a 35-strong team helping set up the tech company’s new European headquarters in Dublin. The atmosphere there, she says, is different to that in Temple (think bean-bags, standing desks and even a games room).