Middle Temple’s Employed Bar Steering Group (EBSG) has continued to work hard in 2022 to promote the representation of the employed Bar within the Inn and provide opportunities for these members. When we wrote last year it was our first as a fully constituted group. We are pleased that since that time we have added to our number and continue to ensure that employed barristers are represented on the key strategic committees within the Inn. This is not least the case for the Membership Committee, now chaired by EBSG former Co-Chair Master Christiane Valansot. This important strategic function has ensured that the employed Bar has been represented at events and educational activities for student, Hall, and Bencher members of the Inn, and that we have had our say on matters relating to the running of the Inn overall.

Back in the Spring, we held a further webinar in continuation of our ‘In Conversation with’ series we had commenced so successfully last year. This time, we spoke with barrister Nick de Marco KC, with a particular focus on his practice in Sports Law. Whilst not an employed practitioner himself, Nick was right to point out that the sports law sector is one dominated by in-house and employed barristers working for regulators and organisations within this fascinating and diverse field. There was once again a strong turnout for this event, and we thank Nick very much for his time.

In the summer we were delighted to be the joint hosts with BACFI and the Employed Bar Committee of the Bar Council of an employed Bar drinks reception in the Rose Garden at the Inn. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet with colleagues across the profession for the first time in what felt a long time in our professional home. A wide array of practitioners were in attendance and included in our number were the current Treasury Solicitor and former Supreme Court Judge Lady Hale, who added a welcome sprinkle of celebrity. Our thanks to BACFI and the EBC for supporting us in setting up this event.

As for the rest of this year, we are looking to capitalise on the success of the summer gathering and replicate this around Christmas time, to bring employed barristers together again as we celebrate the run up to the holidays in a suitably festively decked Inn. We are also working hard on reshaping the representative offering that the Inn provides to employed Bar members and are hoping that we will be able to share this properly soon – the slightly cryptic tone of this announcement perhaps reveals that certain details are still to be worked out but stay tuned. As ever, we are grateful to the staff of the Inn for the assistance and support they continue to provide.

The EBSG is comprised of members of the Inn. Its Co-Chairs are Master Michael Jones and Michael Harwood. Its other members are Master Helen Mahy, Vincent Coughlin KC, Stuart Alford KC, Ian Brookes-Howells, Laurence Fry, Tabitha Walker and Chamali Fernando. A huge thanks also goes to Gabriel Dorey for supporting the group with his administrative skills. 

Michael Harwood

Michael Harwood is a barrister practising in public law and has undertaken several roles as a legal adviser to the government, most recently at HM Treasury. Michael is committed to representing the interests of all the Inn’s junior members, with a particular focus on promoting positive mental health and wellbeing. Michael is a member of the Inn’s Survive & Thrive Steering Group and the Employed Bar Steering Group.