Harry Hodgkin is CEO and co-founder of The Barrister Group. Called to the Bar in 1983, he practised as a barrister until 2021, when he stepped back to focus on TBG and building the Bar of the 21st century.
Stephen Ward, also co-founder, acts as The Barrister Group’s Business Development Director. He brings with him an extensive clerking background, and continues to push for innovation at every step of TBG’s journey.
When Harry and Stephen met, it was as barrister and clerk. Adjacent in role, but worlds apart in their experience of chambers, it was clear to them both that something needed to change in the legal profession – and fast.
So, the pair began to develop a vision: what would a modern-day barristers’ chambers look like, and what would it mean to experience a legal profession that put people at the very heart of its function?
In 2001, Clerksroom was born: a new chambers model that would invest in its people, that would prioritise respect between its members and clients, and that would harness technology to modernise its operations far beyond the standard of its time.
It was a simple concept, but one slow to be accepted. The traditional chambers model had the edge of a 400-year history to fall back on; why would any barrister take the leap?
When 2020 came, so too did the first COVID-19 lockdowns in the UK, and all at once an undeniable shift took place across the legal profession. Suddenly, work-life balance was king, and unlike many of the UK’s chambers, Clerksroom was prepared to accommodate remote working without so much as a falter.
Their cohort of barristers grew, and in 2023, new investments allowed the company to reintroduce itself as The Barrister Group; a tech-forward chambers setting out to reimagine the Bar and improve access to justice for all.
Today, The Barrister Group is home to over 200 barristers, 7 specialist groups, and over 40 internal staff. It hosts its own dedicated direct access platform, Barrister Connect, and benefits from an in-house team committed to improving the chambers experience for everybody within it.