Will the phone ever ring? Moving to the bar and setting up chambers (CPD 1.5 hr)

5:00pm Tuesday, 25 October 2022
6:30pm Tuesday, 25 October 2022
CPD Training

Whether it’s a traditional chambers, a virtual chambers or time for a change of chambers - setting up a barristers chambers can be a daunting experience and unchartered territory for most. Where do you start? 

In this presentation we draw on the experiences of several barristers who have moved to the bar and set up practice in a variety of ways.  Join our presenters Janine BonifantCharlotte Griffin and Garry Williams (co-chaired by Stephanie Grieve and Mike Lennard) as they explain the different models of chambers, the things to do and watch out for and where you can go for help and resources.

The presentation will include: 

  • What models of chambers are available and how do you choose the one that best suits you – both at the start of your barristerial career and later on if you are looking for a change?
  • What would you like the kaupapa of your chambers to look like?
  • What are the key aspects of setting up your practice?
  • Dos and don’ts/common pitfalls
  • Marketing and networking hints – building your “brand” 
  • Guarding against isolation
  • Financial management/technology
  • Dealing with complaints and insurance
  • Help and resources

Our Presenters


Janine Bonifant

Janine has had over 25 years’ experience as a litigator with a focus on criminal law.  She has prosecuted and defended many trials in the District and High Courts. Janine currently practices as barrister in Wellington.

Janine has been a faculty member on the NZLS Litigation Skills Programme since 2006 and was Director in 2013 and 2017. She is currently an instructor for the Institute of Professional Legal Studies.

Janine is an author for LexisNexis in respect of practical advocacy skills and is on the Criminal Law Committee of the New Zealand Law Society.

When Janine became a barrister she helped set up Brandon Street Chambers which grew to 7 members over a period of 6 years. Last year Janine set up the new Aurora Chambers with two colleagues. Both Chambers have been located in central Wellington.


Charlotte Griffin 

In December 2020, Charlotte and Isabella Clarke established Kate Sheppard Chambers (KSC), Aotearoa’s first virtual chambers and the only all-female chambers focused on providing support to women in the law as its core kaupapa.

Since its inception, KSC has grown to 25 members, with its barristers practising nationwide from Whangārei to Invercargill. KSC is now Aotearoa’s largest set of barristers outside of Auckland, and the third largest chambers in the country. Its barristers practise in varied and innovative ways using a range of digital tools and technology. KSC’s membership is diverse, representing all fields of law, and all disciplines. 

Charlotte practises as a civil litigation and public law specialist. She is an experienced trial and appellate advocate in all levels of the Courts. Charlotte was appointed a District Inspector for Mental Health in June 2020. Prior to joining the Independent Bar in 2015, Charlotte practised for ten years at the Crown Law Office. 


Garry Williams

Garry Williams is a barrister practising out of Richmond Chambers. 

He has a broad practice, but is best known for his expertise in contentious intellectual property matters.

In 2012, he (with a number of others) established Richmond Chambers, a set of barristers located in the General Buildings, on the corner of Shortland and O’Connell Streets, in the heart of Auckland’s CBD and legal precinct.


Stephanie Grieve (co-chair)

Stephanie is a barrister practising in Christchurch with a broad civil litigation practice, including insurance, regulatory and disciplinary matters and trusts/estates. She undertakes regular trial and appellate work in the High Court and Court of Appeal and also appears in disciplinary jurisdictions and Coronial inquests.

In 2019, she assisted Jared Ormsby to establish Plymouth Chambers which now has eight permanent barristers, an Associate Member and a junior barrister. 


Mike Lennard (co-chair)

Mike Lennard of Stout Street Chambers specialises in financial disputes. Mike spent eight years as a Crown prosecutor and civil litigation lawyer, eight years as head of litigation for Inland Revenue, and has practiced at the independent bar since June 2004. He is recognised as a leading tax disputes lawyer both in New Zealand and internationally but his practice now covers a wide range of other financial/commercial disputes including intellectual property, judicial review, professional negligence, professional disciplinary and financial crime litigation.
Mike has been involved in many training programmes including New Zealand Law Society's Litigation Skills Programme and as an adjunct teaching fellow at the University of Auckland.  He is a member of the NZLS Taxation Committee.  He has published extensively and spoken at numerous conferences and seminars over the past 25 years.

Mike has been part of two quite different chambers, is a door tenant at an Auckland chambers, and was involved in Stout Street Chambers’ exodus from Stout Street after the 2013 earthquakes.

This webinar is free to members of the NZBA 

Register using your NZBA email login to get the member price of $0.

Please Register below, visit your Cart, and follow all steps through to Place Order.  If you have successfully registered, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to join the webinar. Please ensure you follow these to register on the Zoom platform and can therefore join on the day (or receive the recording, which will be available later). 

If you have any problems, please contact us.

Sold Out

Contact Information

If you have trouble registering for this event please contact the organiser


Related Events

Additional Information

This webinar is free to all members and any non member practitioners who are thinking that a move to the bar may be something they are considering in the future.

Sponsors & Service Providers