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On Saturday, the Head of Church Court Chambers, Kerim Fuad QC spoke on a panel for International Weekend, an event organised by the European Young Bar Association, the Law Society’s Young Lawyer Division, London Young Lawyers Group, and Middle Temple Young Barristers’ Association which was held online for the first time and attended by hundreds of young lawyers across Europe, the United Kingdom, and North America.
The panel discussion at which Kerim spoke alongside lawyers from Italy and Canada, addressed their respective legal systems response to the COVID crisis as well as how they foresee the future and finished with tips for young lawyers about how to manage/advance themselves in the current difficult legal climate.
Kerim spoke honestly and scathingly; of the shameful lack of financial support from the government for publicly funded barristers and solicitors “who have been left to rot,” the grossly inadequate and hugely delayed response to get jury trials up and running, the fact that the huge backlog for Crown Court trials was in existence long before Covid-19 (eg in December 2019 out of 729 courtrooms, 350 were not sitting only due to the government slashing of court sitting days), refusal of the government to properly engage with leaders of the Bar as to how to remedy the crisis, the disgraceful crumbling state of the whole of the court estate fallen into ruin/not fit for purpose, and the disingenuous use politically of their buzz word of “diversity” which the government scorn in real terms with lack of financial support/reasonable fees which is driving talented people out of the Bar and decimating many sets of chambers, the generally appalling fees paid to both prosecution and defence Barristers who are trying hard to uphold the rule of law and protect victims and the public.
He ended by giving a series of practical tips for those young lawyers seeking to succeed but confessed that unless the government invest in the independent Bar of England and Wales, it looks beyond bleak.
The panel was hosted by Church Court Chambers Michael Polak in his role as President of the Middle Temple Young Barristers’ Association.
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