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Bar Circuits

This page describes the Bar Circuits, the oldest professional bodies representing the Bar. They cover all fields of practice.

The European Circuit, formed in 2001, is apparently the first new circuit of the Bar to have been formed for hundreds of years! The European Circuit will to bring together within one network barristers practising european law (in the broadest sense of the term), barristers working in Europe and european lawyers with a link to the UK. The Circuit was launched in response to the growth in barristers' practice in continental Europe - whether in international corporations, institutions or private practice - and the Circuit should assist in consolidating such growth. Furthermore the membership will be spread across Europe and dealing with many different local bars; it is hoped that the Circuit can contribute to local establishment of barristers and assist in promoting the services of members of the Circuit Europe-wide. The function of the European Circuit will therefore be to provide support and assistance to its members on the one hand and, on the other, to liaise with various bar organisations across Europe.

The Midland Circuit exists to serve and represent barristers working in the Midlands. In the rapidly changing market for legal services, the work of the Circuit in bringing the Bar together and representing the Midlands Bar at a national level has never been more important. This site should help make life a little easier for all Midlands counsel providing news on fees, the CPS, the Carter Review, new appointments and alike, as well as information on the Circuit’s comprehensive programme of continuing education and social events.

The North Eastern Circuit consists of barristers practising principally, but not exclusively, in the courts of the North Eastern Circuit. Leeds and the North East now have the most important legal centres outside London. There are nearly 700 members, 57 of whom are Queen's Counsel. They practice in all of the major court centres from some 27 sets of chambers around the Circuit including 2 London-based sets whose members work almost exclusively on the Circuit.

The South Eastern Circuit is the largest and most influential of the six circuits. It covers an area east of an imaginary line drawn from King's Lynn in the north to Chichester in the south, through Cambridge, Luton, Aylesbury and Reading and down to Guildford and along the western boundary of Sussex. It includes London. Despite its size it manages to retain a friendly feel through its network of regional Messes, each with its own Chairman and Committee.

Wales and Chester Circuit
In October 1998, the Circuit approved and published its first written constitution. The objects of the Circuit are (a) to promote and maintain the highest professional standards among its members, (b) to provide professional education and training for its members and their pupils, and (c) to promote the professional interests and welfare of its members. It is open to a member of another Circuit to join ours. In each of the principal court centres is a local bar mess, comprising members who practise locally to that court centre.

The Western Circuit is the body which represents the interests of barristers who practice in the South and South West of England. The officers comprise a Leader, Junior, and Wine Treasurer who speak on behalf of 900+ practising barristers located in a total of some 110 chambers both on Circuit and in London. In addition, Law Lords, Lord Justices of Appeal, High Court Judges, Circuit Judges, District Judges, retired Circuit barristers, Academics and past Senior Administrators make up the remaining 20% of members.

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