Upon my arrival at Matrix Chamber, I was greeted by Faiza, who kindly went through all the safeguarding and confidentiality aspects of the work experience. Swiftly after this, we were greeted by a welcoming and kind group of staff who quickly relieved me of my anxiety I had about meeting new people on the first day.
Firstly, we were introduced to the Fees and Finance department in which we were given a detailed account of everyone’s role in the team, for instance, Eric kindly informed us of his role as the Credit Control Administrator.
Thereafter, we were greeted by Rachel, who described her role at Matrix as the Marketing Manager, she informed us that this included maintaining the Matrix website, handling press enquiries and promoting events.
Additionally, we got to meet the Legal Support Service team, in which Polly thoughtfully explained the team’s role in assisting Matrix’s members through their research and provision of legal information (e.g. bundles of authorities, cases, reports, articles etc.). We were also fortunate enough to be taken upstairs to the library by Polly, who gave us an informative tour and gave us an explanation for each of the four core legal texts she uses to assists the barristers on a daily basis.
Ultimately, I found it very interesting to learn about the internal operations that underpin the chamber to ensure that everything runs smoothly at Matrix. At a broad glance, it can seem like the barristers are autonomous individuals who organise everything themselves but after meeting the different practice teams, I quickly realised that my assumption was untrue as Practice Team X demonstrated through the work they do. Ria (the Practice Manager) offered to explain her role in which she manages the barristers’ diaries, dealing with negotiations and appointing the right barrister for a certain case.
On the second day, I was lucky enough to be able to watch the judicial reviews unfold in front of me in the upper tribunal with Paul Skinner, who appeared on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Home Department. It was fascinating watching Mr Skinner present his arguments in front of the judge, in which the judge gave an oral judgement on the lawfulness of the Secretary of State for the Home Department’s immigration policies. The Judge clarified at the start of every case that it wasn’t an appeal (by which the applicant and defendant would be able to present evidence). When this drew to a close, Mr Skinner kindly explained the events that had occurred previously – which was extremely helpful!
On Wednesday, we went to the Supreme Court with David Wolfe QC in which we were lucky enough to spectate a case regarding 16/17 year olds’ mental capacity to which they could consent to confinement/treatment if their mental capacity faltered below the cut-off point.