Welcome to the South Eastern Circuit
The South Eastern Circuit is the largest of the six geographical Circuits, accounting for more than 40% of the English and Welsh Bar. It provides a crucial source of support, advice and representation for barristers practising in the south east.
I am proud to be part of this profession and it is a tremendous honour to become Leader of the Circuit. I am, however, acutely aware that I take on this role at a time when our profession is going through a period of unprecedented change, particularly the publicly funded Bar. Economic conditions dictate that cost-cutting measures are inevitable. They are being implemented in a way that threatens our professional standards; denies public access to justice and puts at risk the independence and integrity of the Bar.
The future of the Bar – and with it the proper administration of justice – rests in the hands of this generation. It is vital that the Circuit has clear positions on key issues and makes its voice heard. Unity, communication (keep me informed of day-to-day issues please and I undertake to inform you all of major issues and developments), strong leadership and the willingness of our wisest members to put their shoulder to the wheel alongside me are key to our success.
While the commercial bar may not be directly affected by the present attack on the publicly funded bar, the maintenance of the high reputation of the bar is important to all barristers and we would ask you to give us all the support that you can.
The website is to be regularly updated so that you can have ready access to the latest developments on major issues that will affect you all. Look out for Circuit-run events providing education and training and for assistance with continuing professional development.
I take all these responsibilities very seriously and want the next two years to be a period in which the Circuit works for you. Join us because it matters.
Sarah Forshaw QC
Leader of the South Eastern Circuit