Our history

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Our history

In geographical terms the North Eastern Circuit is Yorkshire, County Durham and Northumbria. It is bordered by Derbyshire in the south, the Pennines in the west, the Scottish border to the north and the North Sea to the east.

As late as the mid 1870s, this region was the northern most part of the Midland circuit and the eastern half of the northern circuit.

However, new local Sets of Chambers began to meet the needs of an increasingly vibrant and confident industrial and commercial area. These changes weakened the influence of Manchester and Birmingham and saw the birth of the North Eastern Circuit on Tuesday 29 February 1876.

Legend has it that a coin was tossed to decide who was to retain the Northern Circuit name, with Northern Circuit retaining the name whilst the North Eastern Circuit retained the silver.

Today the North Eastern Circuit has nearly 1,000 members, 49 of whom are Queen's Counsel. They practice in all the major court centres from some 22 Sets of Chambers.

The trend of the 1870s is continued. Leeds and the North East now have the most important legal centres outside London.

The circuit offers specialist Counsel in almost every field and high standards are universally recognised. It is from this strong base that we go forward and face new challenges with confidence.