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The Kindness Initiative

Speaker: Nicola Shannon KC & Valerie Charbit
Chambers: Furnival Chambers / Red Lion Chambers

Nicola Shannon KC is a barrister at Furnival Chambers. She has a passion for mentoring young practitioners and is senior member of a Women in Criminal Law Judicial Mentoring Circle. She is also a champion of Wellbeing within the criminal justice system and is the current Chair of the Bar Council Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group. Nicola co-founded Kindness at the Bar with Valerie Charbit in 2022. Valerie Charbit is the Wellbeing Director for Chambers. She has represented the Criminal Bar Association as Wellbeing Director and the South Eastern Circuit on wellbeing. She was a member of the Bar Council’s working party group on wellbeing throughout that time.

Here Valerie and Nicola present findings from two online workshops with over 20 barristers, exploring kindness at the bar. They ask important questions, such as: what does kindness look like at the bar? How does this impact how people see others and themselves? Through this work they uncovered interesting characteristics of culture at the bar: from “unwritten rules” to accounts of the impact on individuals.

Key words/topics:

Occupational culture
Working conditions