2022 – Year in review

16 December 2022

As Christmas approaches, it seems a good moment to pause and say thank you to you all, our clients and colleagues, for your support in 2022. It feels like time speeds up as the year reaches its end and we all remark how busy it has been—but it really has been an exceptionally busy year for 5 Essex Chambers. We are grateful to have achieved so much.

After a two-year Covid-hiatus, we were able to host our renowned Police Law Conference in London once again with over 100 clients attending. It was wonderful seeing old faces and meeting new ones in real life. Our barristers were invited to present at some very prestigious conferences and events, including the Annual Police Law Conference, the International Fundraising Congress in the Netherlands and even teaching advocacy trainers in Jersey. Our seminars and training schedules have also been very busy but we have made time to have some fun as well. We enjoyed taking part in the London Legal Walk and attending the ICAW Garden Party at the height of the summer. We even entered a team (not entirely successfully it must be said) in the London Pulse Corporate Cup – a netball competition! Most of all, we have delighted in seeing clients and colleagues in person again this year.

We were pleased to welcome new talent to Chambers: Zander Goss and Sarah Taylor joined chambers as tenants and Edmund Garnett joined us after successfully completing his pupillage. We have also welcomed a third six, Lissy Verrall-Withers and two new pupils, Jack Palmer and Paige Jones.

The hard work of members of chambers was recognised when 5 Essex Court received a commendation from Chambers UK in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at their recent awards ceremony. Much of this work goes on behind the scenes; it can be time-consuming and sometimes thankless. We are very proud of our committee members – and our Equality and Diversity Officer Emma Price who has worked particularly hard – for all their dedication to making a real change in this area.

We were delighted to maintain our top tier status in both the Police Law and Inquests and Public Inquiries categories in the Chambers UK and Legal 500 directories. We were especially delighted to be shortlisted for three categories in the Legal 500 Bar Awards 2022. As well as Public Law set of the year, Fiona Barton KC was shortlisted for Public Law silk of the year and Francesca Whitelaw for Public Law junior of the year. We were also highly commended in the Legal Cheek awards 2022 in the categories of Best Chambers for Training, Best Chambers for Quality of Work, Best Chambers for Colleague Supportiveness and Chambers of the Year. We would like to thank everyone who has provided valuable feedback on our barristers.

We were very proud that Claire Palmer became a Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn – we think the second youngest ever having been narrowly piped to the post – and a few members of chambers enjoyed watching her being prized from her chair in Hall and dragged protesting (as is the tradition) up to the high table.

We continue to be involved in many landmark cases and inquiries, which this year included: Briggs v IOPC; the reach of Article 2 in Maguire; lawfulness of retention of information in YZ; disability discrimination in Eckland; the Police Overtime civil litigation; the Infected Blood Inquiry, the Dawn Sturgess Inquiry and the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry. Looking ahead to 2023, there are already some significant cases in our diaries that some of you will be involved in too, not least the Covid-19 Inquiry.

As I said at the beginning, it has been an exceptionally busy year. We would not be here without our clients. Thank you for your continued support and we all look forward to seeing you, after a well-deserved break, in 2023. Have a wonderful holiday!


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