The practice of law in the United Kingdom is divided between solicitors and barristers. Solicitors have traditionally been the client's first point of contact. They act as the client's representative before the law and conduct litigation on their behalf, undertaking tasks such as gathering evidence through the taking of witness statements, corresponding with the other side's legal representatives and making applications to the court. Barristers are specialist advocates and advisers. They draft legal pleadings, give expert opinions on the legal aspects of a case, and provide expert advocacy in the courtroom. The majority of barristers are self-employed individuals who band together into individual sets of chambers in order to share the burden of administrative costs.
Chambers UK Bar covers barristers working on all six circuits of the Bar of England and Wales. These are the South Eastern Circuit (which takes in London), the Western Circuit, the Midlands Circuit, the Wales and Chester Circuit, the Northern Circuit and the North Eastern Circuit. Although Scotland is a separate jurisdiction, the guide also ranks advocates who appear before the Scottish courts.
Areas of Law We cover over 60 areas of law including commercial litigation, chancery, crime, family and employment. Barristers from the UK also handle a good deal of work overseas. To reflect this we have tables covering International Arbitration and Offshore work.
Date of Publication Chambers UK Bar is published annually in October. The ranking tables and commentary, therefore, are fixed at the date of publication for the following 12 months. However, factual information such as mergers or lawyer-moves is kept up to date on the website throughout the year.
2014 Book Launch Video
The Bar at a Glance
Here you can see comparisons and overviews of the highest performing UK sets and barristers over the past year, as determined by our UK Bar research and ranking process.