History - The Early Years

The Chancery Bar Association was founded in 1935.  Its genesis was attended by some controversy. This was because its promoters wished to use it as a vehicle to promulgate particular rules of professional practice for the Chancery Bar and there were debates regarding the re-introduction of the old “tied Court system” whereby most silks were attached to the court of a particular judge, and whether the number of members or the number of silks in any one set of chambers should be limited.  

These matters and a lot more are explored in detail by Richard Wallington in a new publication which provides a fascinating insight into the very different lives of barristers at the Chancery Bar and the activities of the Association some 70 years ago. 

Richard deals with the early years of the Association from 1935 to 1939 and, in doing so, covers not only the issues mentioned above but also other facets of practice at the Chancery Bar just before WWII and some of the prominent personalities at the Chancery Bar whose views and influence shaped the early years of the Association.  These include Charles Harman (later Harman LJ) who “regarded the idea of an Association with suspicion and did not like the idea of a body which would tell me in what Court I should practise or in what chambers I should sit” and of Gavin Simonds (later Lord Chancellor) who said that the Association would provide a forum for the Chancery Bar to meet and discuss “what is honourable and right in the conduct of our profession”.

This work, in a soft cover with illustrations, photographs and a foreword by the former Chancellor, was published on 18 January 2013.  A free PDF version may be placed on the website in due course. 

For those who would like to purchase a copy the book is available from Amanda Tipples QC at Maitland Chambers, 7 Stone Buildings, Lincoln's Inn, London WC2A 3SZ (atipples@maitlandchambers.com).  Please send Amanda a cheque for £5 made payable to the Chancery Bar Association together with your address and DX number, and she will arrange for a copy to be delivered to you.