New association committee members elected

11 Feb

Antonia Welsh, President of the Junior Bar Association

THE committee members for the new Junior Bar Association have been elected. President Antonia Welsh is joined by Cameron Smith as Vice President, Amy Donachie as Secretary and Emma Boffey as Devil’s Representative. Fergus Whyte, Valentina Mori, Ayla Iridag and Emily Bradbury have been elected as ordinary committee members.

Launched to provide an accessible platform for advocates who called to the Bar five years ago or less, the new association will provide support, offer opportunities to network, facilitate preferential access to events and promote ongoing continuing professional development activities.

The impact COVID-19 has had on the legal profession is among the main drivers behind the launch of this new association. 


“There has been a definite increase in workloads, stress levels and overall anxiety levels within the Faculty’s membership since the restrictions brought about by the pandemic began,” said Ms Welsh.

Although the entire Scottish Bar has been affected, the biggest impact has been felt by newer members of the Bar. Their limited number of years as practising advocates mean many do not yet enjoy access to the solid support networks nor the high levels of skill enjoyed by more senior members. Many of them are also still primary caregivers to young children which has brought its own set of challenges during lockdown.

Faculty takes the wellbeing of members seriously, has policies and procedures in place to support anyone requiring assistance, and is planning to implement an even more robust support offering in the future. "The Junior Bar Association will provide an additional platform here specifically tailored for the needs of its junior members," she said.

An inward focus on continual professional development by the new association will provide an interactive learning environment where they can discuss and participate in training that speaks to their specific educational requirements, as well as their personal and professional circumstances. It will also provide information and support to anyone interested in calling to the bar, strengthening the Faculty’s current various outreach activities.

“It is clear that the last two years have been very tough on all practitioners and, perhaps in particular, on the newest intrants. The Bar is already a very collegiate place, and this innovation will strengthen that by giving additional support mechanisms to the junior bar. The Office Bearers are fully supportive of the Junior Bar Association, and look forward to working with it as things, hopefully, start to return to normal,” said Dean of Faculty Roddy Dunlop QC.