Now, as one year draws to an end and we stand on the threshold of the next, is a time for reflection. My own reflections on past and future alike, coming as they do half-way through my first year as Head of Chambers, are filled with a sense of profound gratitude that I have had the utmost good fortune to spend my entire professional career at 12KBW.
When I accepted an offer of pupillage here what drew me to 12 was its atypically unstuffy house style which combined professionalism with a real sense of family. I knew instinctively that if 12 would have me, 12 was where I belonged. Upon listening, at the recent memorial almost thirty years later, to all the shared and moving memories of our time spent with Richard Viney – our beloved member taken from us far too soon but who we will carry with us always – it revived in me, at a time of great sadness and loss, that sense of belonging to a place made by its people. By its members, always ready to support their friends, colleagues and chambers at times of need, in which context Paul Russell QC, whose selfless leadership took us to another level altogether, deserves our profound thanks. By its outstanding staff, to whom we owe so much, and to whom we say thank you for everything you have done to get us through such a challenging year. By its loyal clients whose work we never take for granted: we thank you for your continuing trust, friendship and support.
As to next year and beyond my vision for 12 is of a more diverse and outward-looking family. We are already doing great work but can go further and will be all the richer for it. I am particularly proud of our pro bono work this year, reflected in the Advocate Pro Bono Chambers of the Year Award, as well as the launch of our social mobility mini-pupillage scheme, and the appointment of our first sustainability officers. As we continue to grow we have one eye firmly fixed on wider society and our responsibility within it.
Our best wishes to all our friends and supporters for a very Happy New Year.
– William Audland QC