Letters of the law

Bedford Row is a small street near the British Museum that boasts a number of reputable barristers chambers. We are specialists in barristers’ outdoor glass plaques and we have been involved with a number of chambers along the famous row for quite a few years now.

It all started twenty years ago – we produced post cards with a mock up barristers board we made up and posted them out to the senior clerks around the area. Back then, hand painted Victorian signs were the face of criminal law chambers, and not as coveted as they are now, so we were asked to update them.

Our original work involved vinyl graphics on wooden slats, but fast forward to 20 years later and the scene of the crime has changed a bit…

Self-employed barristers work within a ‘set’ of chambers, with an experienced barrister at the head and a clerk to manage the flow of work. By law, they must all be listed on the barristers board outside their chambers.

At one time, each chamber would only have 20 to 30 people in it, but with the growth of criminal law, the numbers of tenants inflated, to the point where we could no longer cut the vinyl letters small enough to squeeze all their names on the boards. That’s how the evolution into printed glass signs took place.

Now we simply print out the list and apply it to the back of glass, which is then affixed to the wall outside of each chamber using minimalist stand off fixings, for a clean look that stays true to the classic style of the buildings.

They are very old structures and set around peaceful squares or ‘inns’ in Central London where black cabs pull up every so often. It feels like going back in time, but despite the Dickensian character of the area, these chambers are always modernising and we have to keep up with them, which we’re proud to have spent the last couple of decades doing. New people start at the chambers quite frequently so it is essential that the boards are kept up to date.

Last but not least, the order of the boards is done by the date a barrister is called to the bar, so the work requires a high attention to detail and lots of moving around of names.

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