I came to chambers with a prior interest in employment law: I spent the year before pupillage working as an Assistant Legal Officer at the Free Representation Unit, where I was fortunate enough to act in several cases in both the ET and the EAT. 12KBW is renowned for its personal injury work too, so I was keen to build a practice in both areas.
Now I am five years into practice and my workload is split fairly evenly between employment and personal injury work. The work is varied and interesting. I can be advising an employer about a potential breach of restrictive covenants by a former employee one day and acting in a personal injury trial the next day.
Being at 12KBW means regular courtroom experience from the start of second six, largely in personal injury trials and applications in the county court. In my first two years of practice I was in court almost every day. This gave me valuable time to develop and learn as an advocate, which in turn enabled me to approach my employment tribunal work, much of which involves longer and more complex hearings, with a level of skill and confidence I would not have had if I had spent those years largely doing junioring or paperwork.
From a subject matter perspective, employment and personal injury overlap in many ways. Employment law claims are increasingly raising issues to do with personal injury in the form of psychiatric harm; my experience in these two areas recently led to my instruction for a claimant in a high-value employment tribunal claim.
Chambers has several senior members of the employment team who are qualified as pupil supervisors, and a clerking team keen to develop the employment practices of new tenants. For anyone wanting to develop a mixed employment and personal injury practice, it is an excellent place to be.