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Fateha’s Work Experience Blog

Before I begin, thank you Matrix Chambers! Thank you so much to everyone I met at Matrix Chambers, for making this incredible opportunity possible, and the hospitality I received! Although I have watched many crime and law orientated dramas, this week exceeded my expectations, and I am able to leave with a much more broad perspective on a barrister’s chambers, and I am excited to pursue a career in law.

I entered the building where I met the lovely receptionists, James Lloyd-Jones and Melanie Decker, alongside my work experience partner Ayaan, and then was given an introduction by Equality & Inclusion Manager Alice Brighouse, who discussed the core values and standards of Matrix Chambers. I sincerely appreciated how only upon entering the building everyone was already so friendly and inviting. I was surprised at how different the practice areas were, ranging from sports law to criminal law, even to education law, it was astonishing how various the practice areas are, additionally, how diverse each barrister was! Prior to entering the chambers, I was not aware how many different teams there are, and was pleasantly surprised at the bright and passionate environment I was welcomed into. It was wonderful meeting each team and I found it fascinating how many teams there were in terms of marketing, facilities, research, finance. There are so many professionals who contribute to barristers in their work, and it was amazing to see the entire perspective of a barrister’s chambers.

Firstly, I met the delightful Fees and Finance team, where Eric Ofori-Darko explained how the distribution of finance goes across the firm, I learnt about the different ways funding was available for people who were in need of the justice system, such as legal aid, conditional fee agreements, criminal legal aid and pro bono work. I also learnt about how barristers are self employed and that their hourly rates were dependent on their experience in the industry and the complexity of the case. Secondly, I met the Legal Support Service team, this sector made me very interested as I enjoy researching and I was amazed at the amount of detail a barrister requires for a case, which Rebecca Khan explained to me. Next I met the Facilities team consisting of Frank Osborne and Idris Mohamed, who are responsible the management of the offices and facilities, such as improving the quality of technology around the building, ensuring it is up-to-date; portraying how innovative Matrix Chambers truly is. After this, I was also introduced to the marketing team by Venetia Tate, and discovered the way barristers are promoted via social media, as well as the various ways of networking through prestigious events such as award ceremonies, many of which Matrix Chambers have been successful in. I was presented with a different tasks from each team which conveyed the administrative areas of the business and was very enlightening.

The following days consisted of attending an independent public statutory Inquiry, which was established to gather a clear account of the implementation and failings of the Horizon IT system at the Post Office over its lifetime. I had the incredible opportunity to meet Samantha Knights KC who kindly allowed me to ask as many questions as I needed. It was incredible to witness the barristers take on their roles. It was intriguing to see data collected during the 1990s presented at court as it had been so many years, yet the main goal consistent throughout time is obtaining justice.

On Thursday, I completed a task set by the Legal Support Service, which delved into the case of Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy, I found it very informative as I learnt about the 2013 Defamation Act. Once this task was finished I had the unexpected opportunity to meet Brenda Efurhievwe, a trainee barrister at Matrix Chambers, who took me to a café and treated me to delicious hot chocolate while answering all my questions about the route to law and the life as a trainee barrister, it was very insightful.

After a day full of various tasks and creating posters, my last day of Matrix Chambers ended with attending the Inquiry court; I think visiting the court was one of the most exciting part of the experience! After attending court, I headed back to the chambers, and was given a tour by Idris Mohamed, and it was fantastic! It was incredible to see the new offices being personalized for each barrister and how there was both modern and traditional elements in the offices. Furthermore, I had the chance to see the other Matrix building, which gave a more historical vibe, and it was all very pleasant. Then I returned to the main office, where I finalized the last of my tasks, and that brought my week of work experience to a close!

To conclude, my experience at Matrix Chambers has been entertaining, engaging and very educational! Once again, thank you everyone who made this opportunity so enjoyable, it was a pleasure to meet you!!