Chris Barnes, family law barrister, 4 Paper Buildings
What is your position and what do you do on a day-to-day basis?
I am a family barrister at 4 Paper Buildings, specialising in proceedings concerning children. Given the work I do I am very frequently in court, but around that my work time is spent on paper work and providing advice to clients.
How long have you been in this role and what brought you here?
I qualified as a barrister in 2009 and specialised in family work soon after that. I have been at 4PB since moving chambers last year - the chance to join the outstanding set for children law surrounded by colleagues of such high quality is something I hadn't expected and could not be more grateful for.
What are the people you work for/with like? Any memorable stories?
The thing I love most in the world is the sheer range of people you work with and represent. I am very lucky in the colleagues and solicitors, and you often find yourself bonding over the idiosyncrasies of life as a family lawyer. Obviously the most important people are always your clients, many of whom are facing incredibly difficult and emotional situations.
My most memorable story is probably from the first case I ever had in the Court of Appeal, where I had to take over the hearing from the silk leading me part-way through - I've never felt closer to an episode of Silk
What is the best and worst part of the day for you?
It's hard to live in Sussex and work in London without complaining about the trains, but I try to focus on the best part of the day which, for me, is always the moment just before your judge comes into court. There's always a mix of excitement, adrenaline and nervous tension. It's the time that epitomises the solitary nature of the job and the need to prepare for the unexpected.
What adjectives best describe you?
Committed, happy, and frequently chatty.