Q. Obviously, you received many congratulations on taking silk. What is your response to those commentators who regard the system as outdated?

A. Well, some of it plainly is: the breeches and gold buckled shoes, for example, and the clerks bowing to me when I arrive in Chambers. But in most respects the system is thoroughly modern: it is transparent, rigorous, an assurance of quality and is at the vanguard of the great efforts being made by the Bar generally in the field of inclusivity. It is also a recognised and respected brand, particularly internationally, which attracts work to the British jurisdictions.

Q. The way of becoming a QC has changed. How was your experience of the modern process?

A. It was the least fun I have had at the Bar. And that includes regular appearances in the early 1990s as a young junior in front of His Honour Judge Harris in the Central London County Court, so it faced pretty stiff competition.

Q. How do you see the role of QCs specifically at the Construction Bar?

A. There are a number of roles and, in this respect too, the system has modernised to meet the changing demands of the market. All cases at the Construction Bar are a team effort, and providing leadership, taking responsibility and working effectively with others are all vitally important.

Q. Do you expect your practice to change significantly compared with your days as a Senior Junior?

A. Not significantly: I enjoyed a pretty senior senior junior's practice (perhaps the archaic terminology needs modernising!) by the time I took silk. Also, the distinction between senior juniors and junior silks has diminished in recent years as the focus of dispute resolution has shifted from long trials to alternative forms of dispute resolution and active management of cases by tribunals.

The articles and papers published by Keating Chambers are for the purpose of raising general awareness of issues and stimulating discussion. The contents must not be relied upon or applied in any given situation. There is no substitute for taking appropriate professional advice.

This material is prepared for Chambers by our Director of Research and Professional Development, Professor Anthony Lavers (LL.B. M.Phil Ph.D. D.Litt MCI.Arb FRICS Barrister) Visiting Professor of Law, Oxford Brookes University.