Law is a system
A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole.
A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundari ...
, a barrister's chambers or barristers' chambers are the rooms used by a barrister or a group of barristers. The singular refers to the use by a
A sole practitioner or solo practitioner is a professional, such as a lawyer
A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney at lawAttorney at law or attorney-at-law, usually abbreviated in everyday speech to att ...
whereas the plural refers to a group of barristers who, while technically acting as sole practitioners, share costs and expenses for office overheads. The concept of barristers' chambers is commonly thought of as a law firm.
England and Wales
England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, parts of the United Kingdom. England and Wales forms the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom of England and follows ...
New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa
''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English
English usually refers to:
* English language
English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...
, Australia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong, chambers may refer to the office premises used by a barrister or to a group of barristers, especially in the
Inns of Court
The Inns of Court in London are the professional associations for barristers in England and Wales. There are four Inns of Court – Gray's Inn, Lincoln's Inn, Inner Temple and Middle Temple.
All barristers must belong to one of them. They have ...
. In these jurisdictions, barristers are forbidden from forming or becoming partners in
A law firm is a business entity formed by one or more lawyers
A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney at lawAttorney at law or attorney-at-law, usually abbreviated in everyday speech to attorney, is the ...
s (though they may be employed by them) and (except for those employed by a law firm or by a government agency) are theoretically all solo practitioners. However, to share costs and expenses, barristers typically operate fraternally with each other, as
Under English law
English law is the common law
In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written ...
s known as "chambers". The term "Chambers" is used to refer both to the physical premises where the Barrister's Set conduct most of their work from, as well as the 'set' or unincorporated association itself. Chambers typically have office spaces for the barristers to work from, conference rooms with infrastructure to conduct video conferencing for a large audience, printing and photocopying sections, a substantially large and updated
A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for housing updated information in order to meet the user's needs on a daily basis. A library provi ...
, as well as rooms for the Barristers' and clients' dining and entertainment. Most Chambers have a staff to look after administrative matters, including a full-fledged kitchen and dining hall to serve up meals and refreshments. The transactional side of chambers are administered by
A barristers' clerk is a manager and administrator in a set of barrister
A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdiction (area), jurisdictions. Barristers mostly specialise in courtroom advocacy and litigation. Their tasks include takin ...
s who receive cases from
A solicitor is a legal practitioner
A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate
An advocate is a professional in the field of law. Different countries' legal systems use the term with somewhat differing meanings. T ...
s and agree on matters such as fees on behalf of their employers; they then provide case details to the barristers and conduct office management for them.
Some chambers specialise in particular areas of law. Members are known as tenants, and can only be dismissed for gross misconduct.
There are chambers all over England and Wales; however, the largest concentration of them is in
London is the Capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. It stands on the River Thames in south-east England at the head of a estuary down to the North Sea, and has b ...
A report by the
General Council of the Bar
The General Council of the Bar, commonly known as the Bar Council, is the representative body for barristers in England and Wales
Barristers in England and Wales are one of the two main categories of lawyer
A lawyer or attorney is a person ...
in 2006, showed that of the 355 practising chambers in the
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...
, 210 were based in London.
In Hong Kong, the 133 chambers within the
special administrative region
A special administrative region is a designation for types of administrative territorial entities in Mainland China
Mainland China, also known as the Chinese mainland, China mainland, or the Mainland Area of the Republic of China is the geopo ...
are almost exclusively located in the
City of Victoria
Victoria most commonly refers to:
* Victoria (Australia), a state of the Commonwealth of Australia
* Victoria, British Columbia, provincial capital of British Columbia, Canada
* Victoria (mythology), Roman goddess of Victory
* Victoria, Seychelles ...
In Sri Lanka, Counsels would maintain their chambers at their residence, which serve as their office and contain their personal library.
English legal terminology