About The Set
A multi-specialist set, Devereux does some of the most interesting and varied work you'll find at the bar. Recent cases include Cox v Ministry of Justice, in which the Supreme Court decided on the vicarious liability of prisoners, P v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, which saw the Court of Appeal confirm immunity of the Police Misconduct Panel, and various high value serious injury claims reported widely in the press.
Devereux's roster of 10 QCs and 40 juniors specialise in, among other areas, commercial litigation, insurance, reinsurance, professional negligence, IT and telecoms, tax, employment, clinical negligence and personal injury. One of its most high profile members, the barrister and blogger Jolyon Maugham QC, is currently fronting the main legal challenge to prevent the invoking of Article 50 without the approval of parliament.
What The Junior Barristers Say
Devereux may be full of renaissance men and women juggling sexy human rights cases with big-money commercial instructions, but it’s also a notably friendly place. “Most people are very willing to have a chat when I'm trying to work out an answer to a difficult point, or just commiserate after a hard day,” one rookie barrister tells us. Another adds: “It's a great team. People help each other rather than helping themselves.”
The happy vibe pervades pupillage, which is reportedly “excellent” albeit with the caveat that “there's nothing that can really prepare you for practice except practice itself”. The programme is one of the more organised at the bar, with formalised assessments and advocacy exercises conducted before real judges. There’s also an informal element to the training which sees barristers of varying levels of seniority pass on their pearls of wisdom to pupils. It’s worth noting that Devereux doesn’t pit its pupils against each other – if they are good enough, all are offered places as tenants.
Work starts off relatively basic, with a sprinkling of more complex stuff that becomes steadily more regular. One junior sums it up like this: “It's difficult to generalise – at the junior end of chambers, we do our fair share of small claims 'knockabout' work – but also some very involved multi track litigation.”
Another praises the “good range” and “high quality” of the instructions sent their way by clerks who know how to drive a hard bargain on behalf of their barristers.
Devereux operates out of a distinctive-looking white building at the entry to the Temple, enviably positioned alongside a pub and a wine bar and not more than 60 seconds from the Royal Courts of Justice. An insider describes it as: “Pretty good at the front-end, perhaps a little bit less palatial in our rooms – but that is the nature of being in Temple.”
With members working an average of 40-50 hours per week, and the boozers so nearby, there is plenty of scope for after work drinks. Bonds at work are strengthened further by regular sponsored charitable activities such as walks, fun runs, cycling contests and quiz nights.