I learned about (what is now called) BD as a pupil, from Martyn Zeidman QC (now HHJ Zeidman). His lectures were a long way from traditional law lectures. They were more like performance art. There was lots of improvisation which sat alongside set-piece jokes, often beautifully drawn out. While the audience guffawed, the two or three points he wanted to be taken away became wedged in their legal knowledge forever.

Carpool Case Law arose spontaneously – Miriam and I just wanted to see what would happen if we posted our actual conversations about cases – but it’s also a development of that style of ‘creative CPD’. Martyn used to say that ‘sincerity also requires technique’. So does authenticity, which is what the videos are trying to import.

Social media has enabled the Bar to have much easier direct access to the providers of workflows. In order to engage with one’s market, there is no need any more to provide detailed free content (which will take many hours to prepare) to lecture companies whose sole purpose is the making of profits for its owners (non-profit associations are another thing).

The Bar has changed out of all recognition since I joined in 1985, pretty much entirely for the better. George Carman QC was my old Head of Chambers. I do sometimes wonder what he would have made of the Fair Allocation of Work Committee, the Board of Management Strategic Review and the Climate Survey on Wellbeing. Diversity is the lifeblood of the Bar, but nobody had that thought back then.

The biggest single change is the realisation that a Chambers with a single strategy which has the buy-in of all barristers and staff will always be a better, and probably more successful place to work, than one populated by ‘row my own boat’ individual practitioners. No barrister should regard themselves as an island.

BD is probably not an option because technically proficient lawyers who work hard and deliver legally correct answers at a reasonable price, on time, are ten a penny: it’s warmth, trust, and an ability to empathise which seems to make the difference in winning work.

Ever since I can remember, the death of the Bar has been said to be imminent. Many thought that the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 and the expansion of rights of audience under that Act, would usher in our demise. Although deep challenges remain, demise doesn’t look on the cards. Won’t there always be a demand for an independent, specialised branch of the profession which puts advocacy at its heart?

I didn’t encourage my daughter, Miriam, to follow the same path. It happened by coincidence in that the set who offered her a pupillage covered similar work – property litigation. That’s not to say I’m not immensely proud that she is more than making her way in a very competitive field.

We couldn’t do Carpool Case Law during COVID because we’re not in the same household so there’s a lot to catch up on. The long-term aim is to make it part of the furniture of legal social media. People sometime ask if they can be ‘guests’ and sit in the back chipping in comments. It’s an interesting idea and would be a fascinating way to take it to the next level.


I do remember watching my Dad in open court when I was a child. The content was certainly all over my head at that point and I could not understand why he would not turn around and say hello to us or wave. We were lucky if we could get a smile out of him when he was in advocacy mode.

We didn’t discuss law at home when I was growing up, but we have always had a close relationship and talked about everything else. It wasn’t really until I started practice that we began to share experiences of the law, the property Bar and self-employed practice.

I wouldn’t say that my Dad led me into the profession, although he must have made it look good enough to follow him on that path. He certainly impressed on me the benefits of self-employment and has always said (and shown) that he enjoys the job immensely.

It is the advocacy that drew me to the Bar. I studied law at university which I enjoyed – particularly land law – but it was mooting there which really got me hooked on the advocacy and argument. I am lucky enough to have had many opportunities to develop my advocacy skills at the junior property Bar. Advocacy by telephone and video (as has been necessary over the past year) is a very different skill.

I have found the Bar a comfortable place for women, although there is progress still to be made. Many of my instructions refer to counsel throughout as ‘he’, and judges continue to refer to female barristers collectively as ‘Ladies’ – neither of which I appreciate. The numbers of women at a particular level of call are still not where they should be. Chambers should be doing everything they can to improve the experience of women at the Bar. I am pleased to see that this is an issue being prioritised by many Chambers, Inns and associations across the Bar.

Mentors are indispensable at the Bar. I have learnt a great deal from my Dad, but also from other barristers (of all levels of call) in my own Chambers, which has always been a friendly and supportive workplace. Being a young junior barrister in a specialised set is a lucky position to be in but can be very challenging.

The BD side of the job can be fun. It certainly uses different skills to those that a barrister needs in court or when doing written advice. Previously, most BD involved drinks events and seminars in Chambers. COVID has changed all of that in a short space of time. Our Chambers’ webinars now reach hundreds of people across the country, rather than just a few London firms, and are recorded and uploaded on YouTube. That’s not to say I don’t look forward to actually meeting solicitors face-to-face again, but I don’t think BD will revert to exactly how it was.

Carpool Case Law was created before COVID and did not really develop during the pandemic due to restrictions. However, it is perfect for the online world and allows us to highlight the most important and interesting decisions in the world of property litigation. It seems to appeal to a wider audience than just property litigators. The videos encourage people to give their own opinions on the merits of the cases discussed, as well as express their views on the dynamics of our relationship.

The number and breadth of responses really surprised us. I think we underestimated the popularity of short videos on a platform like LinkedIn. The set-up is very basic: we use a phone to record and Dad does some editing afterwards. There are no lights, hair or make-up involved. Yet the response has been overwhelming and very positive. I have even had a stranger approach me on the tube asking if I am ‘the girl from Carpool Case Law’!