The thing about the Bar is that we are capable, when we pull together in the right direction, of great things.
Not just for us but the wider community… Unity isn’t just strength but also kindness, I suppose. So, whilst the travails and machinations of the Bar go on behind the scenes, it was quite uplifting to see many members of Circuit and our Judicial allies come together at Christmas Mess, Friday last. So, I begin with that (and thank York Junior, Rachael Landin for her organisation of it).
It was not just a night of celebration together, which has its place, but, more importantly at this time of year, charity. Through the considerable efforts of the Charity Committee, in excess of £20,000 was raised on the night. A record by some stretch that makes the total for the year approaching £30,000 and in the region of £100,000 over recent years (even allowing for the COVID years), all monies to be donated to good and worthwhile charitable causes. So let the focus be for this message those good things we do outside of our day-to-day work and appreciate the excellent work of the Charity Committee, which you can read more about (here). We must also thank all those who had kindly donated lots and prizes including former members of Circuit, the Leaders of the other Circuits and members of the Judiciary.
That all sits with how we have come together over the course of this year to support Circuit and each other in advancing our aims and reputation on a national level. That has been noted in particular in relation to our pupillage innovations, education programmes, our approach to wellbeing and the progression of all of our members. That unified approach, along with the support of our key allies, has made my task that much easier to fulfil. I have really appreciated not just those efforts but the expressions of support too; they all make a difference.
That difference will be needed as we go into the New Year, to keep the momentum going. You see there is still much for us to do, especially as regards to the working lives of our members and the promotion of all practice areas on Circuit. More of that to come in the New Year.
Until then, whether you celebrate over the Christmas period or not, I simply ask that you spend some time to pause, rest, recharge and look after what truly matters; that includes ourselves.
Here’s to unity, strength and kindness,
Jason Pitter KC
Leader of the North Eastern Circuit