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JLD Talks: Tori Adams from 4KBW Chambers

 Hannah Newberry (Chair) interviews Tori Adams, barrister at 4 Kings Bench Walk.

1.      Can you briefly outline your day to day role, and if this varies, generally what you would expect from a working week?

It definitely varies considerably but, generally, I would expect to be in Court around 3-4 days per week in various family, property and chancery hearings. I usually have around 1-2 papers days per week for prep, advisory work, drafting and playing catch up.


2.      At what point did you consider the Bar in your career (i.e. was this during early studies, during University, work experience etc?)

When I was in sixth form before starting University.


3.      Was there anything about joining the Bar that made you feel reluctant or any concerns you had as a young lawyer, such as about the commitment levels or hours of work?

I always worried about the instability both in terms of finances and knowing whether and how often work was going to come. I had never been self-employed before so was not sure what to expect. This was definitely something that caused me concern in the early days.


4.      How would you describe a ‘perfect solicitor’ in respect of providing instructions and briefs?

It’s difficult because I know solicitors are under a lot of pressure and are partly reliant on clients, the court and the other side but it is always helpful to have a brief and papers in advance of a hearing and for the brief to make client’s position clear. It is also often good to be able to have a chat prior to the hearing to make sure that everybody is on the same page.


5.      What would you say to a junior lawyer who wanted advice on how to stand out after completing their studies and searching for a pupillage?

Everyone has very similar CVs and it is very difficult to stand out so I would recommend, as well as the usual ‘have work experience’ and ‘have mini pupillages’, try to include something that makes you different but that has transferable skills – this gives you something which makes you stand out that you can talk about at interview. In addition, make sure that you have researched your Chambers and can show a real interest in them.


6.      Do you have any exceptionally good memories of successes or cases in your career that you’d like to share? (Appropriately redacted of course)!

I had a fact-finding hearing for a client who was alleging very serious domestic abuse. She was visibly struggling during cross-examination and it was a long and emotionally draining hearing for her. At the conclusion, the Judge gave a thoughtful, considered and damning Judgment in which she made findings on all allegations. Seeing the relief the client felt was a very positive moment.


7.      Is there anything you have learnt during the course of your profession, that you wish someone had taught you sooner?

The Bar can be quite a lonely place and having people and there really is no substitute for the support that you get from other members of Chambers and other practitioners. It is so important to reach out and to talk about concerns or even just have a coffee or a drink after a difficult day. I wish I had known the importance of those relationships sooner.


8.      What would you say is the most difficult aspect of your profession?

Sometimes an outcome in court can feel like a real injustice and that can be very difficult, however there are ways to manage it and experience makes it easier

4KBW Chambers are a set of 52 members offering advocacy and advisory services at all levels of seniority. 4KBW offer expertise in a range of practise areas including Crime, Family, Personal Injury, Employment, Housing and Immigration in London, to include remote work..

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