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In March 2001, the first new “Circuit” of the Bar of England and Wales to be created in some 300 years was inaugurated in a ceremony in the Old Hall, Lincoln’s Inn. Circuits have been part of the English legal landscape since the twelfth century. The term “Circuit” originally derived from the tour of particular towns carried out by the King’s judges. Traditionally, Circuits for barristers have fulfilled three important roles. The first has been to allow members of the Circuit, from the lowest pupil to the most senior practitioner, to get to know each other and share practical information, useful to individual practitioners. The second has been to act as an informal regulator of discipline. The third has been to lobby Bars on behalf of Circuit members.

The European Circuit was created to address the realities of the 21st century, where contact between lawyers in different jurisdictions within Europe was becoming more and more common. There was a growing need for a forum for those lawyers in which to meet and discuss practical matters arising from this increased cross-border activity.

The founders of the Circuit considered that there was much to be said for like-minded practitioners getting together and that there was also an informal regulatory role for an organisation such as the European Circuit in an area where the rules are not necessarily well-established and/or where lawyers coming from different legal traditions may not be fully aware of the relevant practice rules in the country in which they are practising. A further important aim of the Circuit was to establish a means for cross-border practitioners to lobby relevant institutions with one voice, in particular in respect of local bar rules that may benefit “local” practitioners and thereby disadvantage outsiders.


The European Circuit has evolved from its beginnings as a formal Circuit of the Bar of England and Wales to become an association of legal professionals across a broad definition of Europe, including the EU and all Council of Europe Member States. Members generally practise in the areas of dispute resolution and advocacy and share a common interest in European legal issues and cross-border practice. We now have active members in at least a dozen European countries and have cordial relations with the bar associations of many others.

The European Circuit holds regular seminars and round tables – mostly in English – in different jurisdictions, dealing with matters of relevance to its members. We also hold an annual conference in cooperation with local bar associations. In recent years we have been warmly welcomed by the bars in Prague, Lisbon, Rome, Madrid and Brussels, among others. We have also held dedicated events on topics including population movement, navigating sanctions, advocacy before the European courts (the CJEU, ECtHR and others), and the UK/EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

If you would like to know more about our past and future events, please check the events section of our website.

The Circuit provides a forum for its members to:

  • Seek solutions to common problems in cross-border practice;
  • Exchange knowledge and experience of European legal issues and practical aspects of cross-border work;
  • Offer a point of liaison with the local bar in jurisdictions where members wish to operate in collaboration with other practitioners; and
  • Promote more widely the services of barristers and other specialist advocates and dispute-resolution practitioners to the wider European legal profession and other potential clients.
View our Constitution

The Committee Members

Michael Bowsher KC

Leader of the Circuit

Michael Bowsher is a barrister, arbitrator and adjudicator active in a range of subjects.  He is particularly well known for his work on public procurement, competition law and similar topics. He also works in commercial disputes, particularly in defence, health, IT and a range of other technical matters. He is a Visiting Professor in EU Public Procurement Law, King’s College London and a Bencher of Middle Temple.

Current publications focused on blog at And there is more information at

Paul McGarry SC

Deputy Leader

Paul McGarry SC was Chair of the Bar of Ireland from July 2016 to July 2018. He is currently President of Arbitration Ireland. He was called to the Bar in 1996 and appointed a Senior Counsel in 2010. He is a member of the Bar of England and Wales since 2012 and joined the Bar of Northern Ireland in 2019. He is also an associate at 6 Pump Court in London. His practice is primarily in public, commercial and European law. He is currently head of the Irish delegation to the Council of European Bars and Law Societies, a member of the Implementation Group of Ireland for Law, and Deputy Leader of the European Circuit. He is a Bencher of King’s Inns and a Master of the Bench at Middle Temple.

Abigail Holt


Abigail Holt is a barrister practicing from Garden Court Chambers in London. She specialises in health and safety and medical cases including cross-border litigation. She is also working on projects related to the ethics of AI, product liability and climate change.

Hannah Godfrey


Hannah Godfrey is a barrister practising from the Law Library in Dublin. She specialises in EU and public law.

Polly Atkins

Polly Atkins is an associate solicitor at Hunters Law LLP. Polly advises on a full range of family law matters including divorce, financial claims, nuptial agreements and issues relating to children. Many of her cases have an international element and she is experienced in advising international families and dealing with assets overseas. Polly has a complementary litigation practice focused on trust and Inheritance Act disputes arising on the breakdown of a relationship. She is described in Legal 500 as ‘one to watch for the future’ and ‘a star definitely on the rise’. She has been closely involved in the European Circuit for a number of years and has helped to organise conferences in Lisbon and Prague. She is currently involved in organising the 2024 conference.

Joe Corina

Joe Corina is Judicial Assistant in the Chancery Division of the High Court and studies the Bar Course on apart-time basis. He received the Lord Justice Holker Scholarship from Gray’s Inn in support of his Bar studies. He graduated with a first-class law degree and spent a year-abroad at Leiden University in The Netherlands, where he competed in the Vis Moot. Since graduating, he has also worked for a leading London based litigation firm and gained exposure to Aviation Accident and Competition litigation. Joe joined the European Circuit to learn more about the law and practice within a variety of European jurisdictions, and to become part of a larger community.

Hugh Mercer KC

Hugh Mercer KC is a barrister (England & Wales, Northern Ireland) based at Essex Court Chambers in London and also a Belgian avocat practising from Alphalex Avocats in Brussels in international, EU and comparative law and also accepts instructions as an arbitrator and mediator.

Dr Eva Indruchova

Dr Eva Indruchova

Eva is an International Relations Consultant and International Business Developer. She is also the founder of WELLINLO, an international initiative to promote wellbeing of lawyers. She is also a member of the Executive Committee of AIJA and the Secretary General of Association Masaryk which aims at stregthening French and Czech legal ties.

Eva has over a decade of experience in developing international relations for the legal professions. She worked six years in Belgium where she was in charge of the Brussels Office of the Czech Bar. For ten years, she was Head of International at the Czech Bar where she developed and implemented strategies for promoting the international interests of the Bar.

She has a background as a Czech lawyer specialised in European Law. She obtained her LL.M. Eur. degree in Germany and completed part of her Ph.D. studies at the University of Bordeaux, France.

Eva speaks Czech, English, French and German.

Samuel Isaac

Samuel Isaac is a trainee solicitor at Hunters Law LLP currently sitting in the Family department, assisting with divorce, finance and private children disputes. He has interest in employment law, family law and art law and enjoys assisting the European Circuit as minutes secretary. He attended the annual conference in Prague which he greatly enjoyed.

Erik Lagerlöf

Erik has been involved with EU and international law as an academic, practitioner and civil servant for almost 20 years. With an academic background from Cambridge University, EUI and Harvard Law School, Erik served as legal secretary to both the Swedish and British judge at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). For the past decade, Erik has combined academia and working in private practice. He has advised and acted on behalf of major international companies before national courts and authorities, the European Commission, the CJEU and international arbitration tribunals.

Gerard McDermott KC

Gerard was called to the Bar in 1978 and took Silk in 1999. He has practised in a range of specialties, including crime and family, but is widely recognised for undertaking complex personal injury cases, representing clients with a range of injuries arising from medical malpractice, product defects, and road traffic accidents.

Gerard was named Personal Injury Silk of the Year in 2012 and has been consistently recognised as a ‘Star Individual’ by Chambers and Partners since 2016. He was Lead Counsel for the Health Authority in the Shipman Inquiry, and also jointly led (together with Richard Hermer KC) the claims for compensation of a large number of those affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster in 2017.

Gerard is a Vice President of the Spinal Injuries Association, and a member of both Outer Temple Chambers in London, and Kings Chambers in Manchester. As well as a practice at the traditional self-employed bar, Gerard also works through a BSB regulated entity, Gerard McDermott KC Ltd.

Gordon Nardell KC

Gordon Nardell KC is a member of the Bars of England & Wales and Ireland. He is also a member of the B-List (Brexit section) of the Dutch Brussels Bar. Gordon practises as counsel and arbitrator at Twenty Essex in London and Alphalex-Avocats in Brussels, specialising in international dispute resolution and European law. He has a focus on disputes involving State bodies and regulated markets. During the 1990s Gordon practised at the Council of Europe and the UK Parliamentary Counsel Office. He served as Leader of the European Circuit 2012-2014 and Chair of the EU Law Committee of the Bar Council of England and Wales 2014-2016.

Colm Ó hOisín SC

Colm Ó hOisín SC has been in practice in Dublin at the Irish Bar since 1988 and became a Senior Counsel in 2005. He is also a member of the Bar of England and Wales, the Bar of Northern Ireland, and an Associate Tenant with Kings Chambers (Manchester, England).  His practice is concentrated on commercial and public law litigation and on international arbitration.  Colm was formerly Leader of the European Circuit (2019-2022). He is also a former President of Arbitration Ireland and a former Member of the ICC International Court of Arbitration (2015-2021). He is currently designated by Ireland to the ICSID Panel of Arbitrators.

Antoine Parry

Antoine Parry works as Legal Assistant (Junior Référendaire) in the Chambers of Advocate General N. Emiliou at the Court of Justice of the European Union. In this capacity, he works on high profile cases pertaining to the various field of EU law.

Cécile Perrault

Cécile is a dual French/English-qualified solicitor-advocate working for Stewarts Law LLP on domestic and international matters. She has experience of working in Paris and London on both civil and common law cases.

Jane Russell

Jane primarily specialises in employment law including statutory employment law (discrimination and whistleblowing), commercial employment law (breaches of confidence, fiduciary duty and injunctions) and industrial action.

Amy Scollan

Amy Scollan is a Family Law Partner at Hunters Law LLP. Amy has represented many high-profile clients in exceptionally high-value and complicated litigation.  Amy is known for her expertise in cross-border disputes and children matters. Chambers and Partners describe Amy as ‘an incredible lawyer with forensic attention to detail and solid interpersonal skills.’ Amy has been a committee member of the circuit for 10 years and enjoys organising, attending and speaking at their many events and annual conferences.

Sophia Smout

Sophia Smout is a trainee solicitor at Hunters Law LLP currently sitting in the Property department, assisting the team with both residential and commercial property transactions of all kinds. She has interest in cross-jurisdictional disputes and has found the European Circuit an excellent opportunity to meet like-minded practitioners. She is the Circuit’s interim social media manager. Sophia speaks fluent German.

Dr Mike Wilkinson

Dr Mike Wilkinson is a Manchester-based barrister with an interest in cases falling on the cusp of the public and commercial spheres. He practises predominantly in business and property law acting as sole counsel or collaboratively as junior or part of a team and in Courts and arbitration hearings. He undertakes work for European and international lawyers, speaks French and is also a qualified mediator.


If you are interested in becoming a member of the European Circuit, please complete our membership form using the link provided.

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