Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Life Of A Head Clerk

Clerks in barristers chambers always seem to me to have an easy life. I regularly phone up clerks and speak to them a number of times a day. Their role in chambers seems to be to maintain the diaries of the barristers they are looking after to ensure they have a constant flow of work. They seem to be able to outsource billing. They also seem to have to shout at more junior members of chambers when something goes wrong.

I went out tonight with a few friends and met up in Holborn. As we were having a quiet drink we were met by a number of barristers and two of their clerks from a chambers that I regularly instruct. The head clerk was out and he was walking around with a briefcase. I asked him what he carried in his briefcase as I doubted that he would take home any work. He told me that he basically carried around the diaries of five QCs, and that his main role in chambers was to ensure that his five QCs got to every case that they were supposed to be at.

This particular clerk is a nice character. He has obviously been very successful and is reaping the rewards of his hard work. He maintains a suntan by regular golfing holidays to Spain. He told me that after a chambers meeting it had been suggested by the more senior members of chambers that he should try to bring in some work from the Cayman Islands. Apparently the Cayman Islands has the same legal system as the UK. He then told me that he is due to fly out to the Cayman Islands soon for a three week trip designed to network and drum up business for his five QCs and other members of chambers.

Now I wonder when I will pick up a serious fraud case that requires a trip to the Cayman Islands that is being funded by legal aid?

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