Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Mini biographies of barristers

• Growing up in a small village in East Yorkshire and going to the local comprehensive school, becoming a barrister wasn’t my childhood dream. It wasn’t a career option that I was encouraged to pursue or one which I knew much about. [more]

• I made the decision to come to the Bar somewhat later than many (I was about 26 at the time). I was in the middle of doing a PhD and I had training contract lined up with a Magic Circle firm. It hadn’t even occurred to me to apply for pupillage, as I didn’t see myself as a natural “fit” for the Bar. Having studied mostly in Ireland, I didn’t think that my academic background would be attractive to a London chambers. [more]

• While at university, pursuing a career at the Bar seemed like a risky option.  There were horror stories as to the expense of Bar School, the scarcity of pupillages and uncertainty as to the longevity of the independent bar.   Taking that risk was one of the best decisions I have made. [more]

• I attended a comprehensive school and then read law at Keble College, Oxford. I would not have considered a career at the Bar had it not been for a tutor at university repeatedly suggesting that I take a closer look. Having been won over by the graduate recruitment “machine”, I had accepted a training contract offer at a magic circle firm. [more]

• On the face of it, I had a conventional route to the Bar: Oxbridge educated, did the BCL, and a white male. But, while all of those things are true, that’s not the whole picture. I grew up on a council estate and was entitled to free school meals at my local comprehensive school; and no one from my family had ever gone to university, let alone worked in a profession, before I got a place at Oxford to read law. [more]

• I did not read Law at university and planned to have a career in business.  To that end I trained as an accountant with one of the major accountancy firms, so that I would know which way up to hold a balance sheet before heading off to work for a large corporation.  The first three years of my working life were thus spent under the umbrella of a large and protective global firm.  But on qualification, while most of my contemporaries took jobs in banks, I decided to retrain as a barrister, having done some time in litigation support and seen how much fun it looked to be. [more]

• Although I was attracted to the Bar as a career, it never occurred to me to think seriously about whether my choice of career was going to be family-friendly. [more]

• I started my professional life as a solicitor in a City Firm. Although I had always been interested in a legal career I was put off the Bar as it seemed incompatible with family life: too all-consuming and too risky.  How wrong I was. After 3 and a half years at the firm I made the move to Fountain Court and have never once regretted it. [more]

• What set Fountain Court apart for me was the impression I gained from my mini -pupillage of a big chambers with a relaxed atmosphere. Doors are always open if you have any questions, and there is a daily lunch attended by members. One of the advantages of pupillage at Fountain Court is that, during the first couple of months, you only work for your supervisor and the work is not assessed. I found this a really valuable time to get to know chambers and the type of work expected of me.  [more]