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Toby Craig

Toby Craig

Head of Communications at the Bar Council.

Articles by this author

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Social responsibility

Toby Craig examines whether corporate social responsibility is just good business or is part of the Bar’s DNA?

Very few people love lawyers, or will even countenance their existence... until they need one. It is a profession in need of some public rehabilitation. Sadly, the bright idea of ‘International be Kind to Lawyers Day’, was also the date chosen by the Ministry of Justice on which to announce yet more legal aid cuts. Maybe the Lord Chancellor did not get the memo. It’s true, lawyers are probably held in slightly higher esteem than our friends in the banking community and, say, tax collectors, but they have never been the most popular professionals. In some ways, that’s odd. There is great affection for the traditions of the Bar. Its traditions, and sense of theatre, help, in part, to fuel a brand which is recognised and respected all over the world, perhaps more than it is here. But, whilst the family GP or a teacher in a local school is instinctively seen as a positive role model, there seems to be a more natural suspicion of the bewigged and hidden world of the Bar.

31 May 2013
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The Modern Bar: Accessible, Adaptable & Relevant

This year’s Bar Conference took place on 10th November. Counsel editorial board members Toby Craig, Nichola Higgins, Chris McWatters and David Wurtzel report

Reaching the Tip of the Pyramid
Toby Craig reviews Lady Justice Rafferty’s keynote speech and the Chairman’s annual address

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single professional in possession of a good practice must be in want of a better one.” Alluding to Austen, so opened Lady Justice Rafferty’s hugely well received keynote address to the 27th Annual Bar Conference.

30 November 2012
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Bar on the run

Toby Craig prepares for the London Marathon and asks members of the Bar also taking part how they have fitted training around their busy working lives.

As a child, I spent more than one April morning on the Embankment cheering my dad through another of his five London Marathons. Last year, after a rather long hiatus, I was a spectator once again, this time watching my older brother compete. It’s fair to say that joggers run in my family.  This year, the gauntlet well and truly laid down, it’s finally my turn to tackle the daunting 26.2 miles of the most famous marathon course in the world. A subjective view perhaps, but as far as I’m concerned, New York, Chicago, Berlin and even Marathon to Athens itself have their attractions, but nothing beats London.

31 March 2012
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Shaping the Future - A modern Bar for a modern market

Shape the future or become the past


The Chairman of the Bar, Peter Lodder QC, told Bar Conference delegates that they needed to shape the future or risk becoming the past in a lively opening plenary session.

The Chair of the 26th Annual Bar Conference, Taryn Lee, kicked off proceedings (for the second year at London’s Hilton Metropole Hotel), by introducing the day’s theme - ‘Shaping the future: a modern Bar for a modern market’. She encouraged the record 650 plus in attendance to focus on the strengths of the profession as they consider developing their practices. She outlined the format for the day, including encouraging modern-minded technophiles to tweet throughout the conference, which proved particularly popular. It also meant those not attending could keep track of what was going on, whether in plenary sessions or in workshops. Barristers, journalists, sponsors, and even humble PR professionals were getting in on the act. The Conference Chair even made time for a tweet or two.

30 November 2011
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The 2011 Annual Bar Conference

Taryn Lee and Toby Craig look forward to this year’s Bar Conference on Saturday 5 November and explain how the Bar can overcome a period of great change to ensure a bright future.

As barristers, clerks, practice managers, solicitors and many others come together on Saturday 5 November to take part in this year’s 26th Annual Bar Conference, the Bar looks around and finds change in almost everything it sees. The legal profession has been subject to a range of new regulation and legislation in recent years, coupled with a deep financial crisis which has affected all professions and created stark challenges and strong opportunities.

30 September 2011
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The 2010 Bar Conference

worldCan this year’s landmark 25th Annual Bar Conference grapple with the mounting challenges facing the Bar and reinvigorate those who feel most battle weary? Definitely, say Kim Hollis QC and Toby Craig.

It’s fitting that the Bar Conference sees its silver Jubilee during a year of historical and potentially radical changes for the entire legal profession. When else can every individual involved in the business of the Bar come together and help influence the future of all our careers?

01 October 2010
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Chair’s Column

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Line of duty

Politically neutral, yet loud and clear – why standing on the sidelines is not an option

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