With the backing of a strong Editorial Board, I was adventurous in my choice of articles, looking beyond the purely law to areas of interest to the Bar such as the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade by Lincoln Crawford OBE (March 2007), although of course there was much on legal aid deserts and other vitally important domestic issues such as court canteens.
I was the first editor who actually wrote for the magazine with a detailed survey on barristers’ fees (“Bleak House” – April 1998). I recall that one Silk, J Hand QC, stated he waited 19 years for payment.
Other memorable articles included a timely research feature on public inquiries (October 2003) inspired by the Hutton inquiry investigating the death of Dr David Kelly and also an in-depth feature on the plight of mature pupils (October 2002).
During my time as Editor the frequency went up from six issues a year to monthly editions (all without extra staff). Among other minor changes were introducing Christmas literary competitions and supplements on video conferencing, IT and of course the separate supplement Money Matters.
Above all, editing Counsel was fun. I was lucky to work with so many outstandingly talented people who gave unstintingly of their time to Counsel.
Stephanie Hawthorne was Editor of Counsel (1997 to 2007). She is now the Editor of Pensions World