Barristers writing blogs

Most legal blogs in the UK are written by solicitors – perhaps this is just because there are more solicitors than barristers or perhaps also there are particular personality traits required to be a blogger! However, there is still a good variety of blogs from barristers available, described below, and probably there will be quite a few more in the months to come.

The two most important Bar blogs

Bar Blog was launched in April 2007 by the Chairman of the Bar, Geoffrey Vos QC, designed not only for his own postings but also as an umbrella site for all other individual barristers who might wish to take part. His aim is to get a “conversation” going with barristers not only commenting on the posts of others but also contributing new posts and topics themselves to the blog for others to comment on.

Current Awareness from the Inner Temple Library provides a blog of up-to-date information regarding new case law, changes in legislation, and legal news. The content is selected and updated daily by information professionals from the Inner Temple Library in London with full links to the original source of the information. There are usually many entries on any one day and this is a major current awareness resource. It is also noteworthy that the blog makes full use of the powers built into blogging software to categorise posts in their archive section, eg past posts are categorised (for just the first part of letter A) under abortion, adoption, advertising, advocacy, age discrimination, agency, agricultural holdings, air passenger duty, airlines, alcohol abuse”¦.

Other blogs associated with barristers are all (so far) set up by individual barristers, rather than chambers as such. Perhaps, chambers are still considering whether this is a good idea. However, in the world of solicitors, there are now a number of blogs from firms as well as blogs from individual solicitors, so perhaps chambers will not be far behind.

Blogs from individual barristers

Bloody relations is a blog from barrister Jacqui Gilliatt about UK family law. The description of the blog is “Where there’s a relative there’s a bloody good argument to be had”. The blog is associated with Jacqui’s chambers website, 4 Brick Court where there are a large number of articles on family law and also a monthly “update”. The blog is also associated with a wiki called familylawfaqs which is still in its early stages. As far as I know, this is the only wiki set up by barristers, as distinct from solicitors.

BriefBlog describes itself as “the travails of an English intellectual property IT and e-commerce barrister”. The author is David Harris, an intellectual property barrister doing IP, IT and e-commerce law as well as some general commercial and civil law. He covers current issues in these areas in a straightforward manner.

Deaf Lawyers UK covers issues relating to deaf lawyers, as well as deaf issues within the legal system. It aims to respond to access issues, publicise specialised information and raise awareness of issues deaf people face within the legal system. The site includes a Deaf Blawg. Prime topics so far are immigration, citizenship and asylum, and special problems for deaf people in these contexts.

The Barrister Blog on “Law, Surfing and Politics” comes from Tim Kevan and Aidan Ellis of 1 Temple Gardens. Tim is also founder of PI Brief Update and Law Brief Update, two free email newsletters providing brief case reports, free of charge, to solicitors and other interested parties.

GeekLawyer is written by an intellectual property barrister in private practice who acts primarily for clients in the electronic technology arena, but who does all IP/IT work in the UK/EU/US jurisdictions. “A barrister gossips and rants on intellectual property law, the legal system and civil liberties.” It is written anonymously “to avoid embarrassment” but contains some good solid comment on legal issues.

Employment Law Blog is written by Charles Price, an employment law specialist and barrister with No5 Chambers. He covers topics relating to cases in employment law, such as how harassment is being used in claims against employers.

MossBlog, is written by Joanne Moss, a barrister at Falcon Chambers. She says “I try to put into perspective (for both lawyers and the public) UK legal change and issues by looking at EU and wider initiatives to solve common problems. Often I find humour works better than case references but links to the hard stuff are usually provided with EU materials.”

NIPCLAW is written by barristers Toni Wilson and John Lambert and contains news and comment on English, European and overseas intellectual property, technology, media and entertainment and competition law.

PI Brief Update Blog contains news and views in the personal injury world, led by barrister Tim Kevan. The blog is designed to complement the free email PI Brief Update which provides case reports from a number of barristers.

Pink Tape is a blog on family law from barrister Lucy Reed. She says “I’d like to think the blog can be a useful resource and / or an interesting diversion for other family lawyers and litigants in person and that more generally it might help to put forward a more human face of the bar in general and in particular the family bar. Small aims then!”

Pupilblog is written by a pupil in a straightforward manner, describing daily life and issues to be faced.

BabyBarista has the sub-title “Pupil barrister making coffee for the rich and famous”. It is a diary of a barrister doing his pupillage – supposedly fictional, but one wonders. This blog has already received quite a lot of critical acclaim – a novelist in the making perhaps – and is now hosted on the Timesonline blog section.

Delia Venables is co-editor of this Newsletter.