Do commercial barristers travel/relocate much as part of their job?

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captainhilts
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Or are they stuck in E&W?
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Crazy Jamie
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You can and probably will travel all over the country for court hearings as a commercial barrister. But in the sense that you mean it, no, not at all. There are opportunities for international secondments with some of the sets at the very top of the tree, but that's about it save for some other unusual ways that you might find yourself in court in a different country. Ultimately, save for some limited exceptions, if you practise as a barrister in England and Wales, you will not work outside of that area (save possibly for Scotland in some areas of law) unless you actively apply for roles outside of the jurisdiction or seek to actively transfer to another jurisdiction.
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Kessler`
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Is it me, CrazyJamie, or have there been a glut of students/aspirants fixated on the commercial Bar recently? So much for the alluring 'glamour' of the criminal hack...! It also makes me wonder whether 'the commercial barrister' is a different thing in their mind from the reality, i.e. could that bracket include civil practitioners who defend in P.I cases or act for the Respondent in the ET? I had a mini-pupil with me in Feb this year who was telling me that she had done a mini-p with 'a commercial barrister's chambers' named Oriel Chambers! I have nothing but respect for Oriel, but I would never describe them as a commercial set!

Sorry for hijacking/distracting your thread OP. I agree with Jamie, for what it's worth. If you are referring to the commercial sets that I envisage, particularly those that are involved in High Court level cases for big companies and organisations, then the vast majority of your work is in the RCJ. The district registries/B and P courts do cover a large amount of work - Manchester and Birmingham are very busy indeed - but the focus is still London-centric. What you can do, however, is take your experience at the commercial Bar worldwide. Ten years fighting and bowing in the RCJ, conducting negotiations, mediations and arbitrations will open a lot of doors for you - particularly in the East!
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Crazy Jamie
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(Original post by Kessler`)
Is it me, CrazyJamie, or have there been a glut of students/aspirants fixated on the commercial Bar recently? So much for the alluring 'glamour' of the criminal hack...! It also makes me wonder whether 'the commercial barrister' is a different thing in their mind from the reality, i.e. could that bracket include civil practitioners who defend in P.I cases or act for the Respondent in the ET? I had a mini-pupil with me in Feb this year who was telling me that she had done a mini-p with 'a commercial barrister's chambers' named Oriel Chambers! I have nothing but respect for Oriel, but I would never describe them as a commercial set!
In fairness, I don't think Oriel would describe themselves as a commercial set either.

I have noticed more enquiries about the commercial Bar recently and/or "top sets", but I think it's inevitable that when the majority of students ask about that they don't really know what they're asking about or what alternatives there may be. I don't say that as a criticism, because as an undergraduate (for example) I don't see how you could realistically know the difference in the main. Wanting to join a "top set" is just an expression of ambition in most cases, and the "commercial Bar" similarly because it's a phrase that is synonymous with success. In practice most people who ask about those things would be satisfied by a whole range of sets in a whole range of practice areas in a lot of different areas of the country. At the stage they're asking they just aren't aware of them, which is fine, because hopefully in the course of asking questions and gaining experience it's something that they will become more aware of. But for all that, I agree that there certainly haven't been as many enquiries recently about the criminal Bar from people who are hungry to speak truth to power and fight for justice.
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captainhilts
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(Original post by Crazy Jamie)
In fairness, I don't think Oriel would describe themselves as a commercial set either.

I have noticed more enquiries about the commercial Bar recently and/or "top sets", but I think it's inevitable that when the majority of students ask about that they don't really know what they're asking about or what alternatives there may be. I don't say that as a criticism, because as an undergraduate (for example) I don't see how you could realistically know the difference in the main. Wanting to join a "top set" is just an expression of ambition in most cases, and the "commercial Bar" similarly because it's a phrase that is synonymous with success. In practice most people who ask about those things would be satisfied by a whole range of sets in a whole range of practice areas in a lot of different areas of the country. At the stage they're asking they just aren't aware of them, which is fine, because hopefully in the course of asking questions and gaining experience it's something that they will become more aware of. But for all that, I agree that there certainly haven't been as many enquiries recently about the criminal Bar from people who are hungry to speak truth to power and fight for justice.
Haha Crazy Jamie you are right I don't know much at all about the legal profession - just a lad from a normal background with 'big' dreams :-) But thank you very much for the insight
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Crazy Jamie
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(Original post by captainhilts)
Haha Crazy Jamie you are right I don't know much at all about the legal profession - just a lad from a normal background with 'big' dreams :-) But thank you very much for the insight
Nothing wrong with that. There's only so many ways you can find out about these things, and asking questions is one of them.
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