Amie Boothman talks about the development of her practice and the importance of supporting the next generation of barristers

July 28, 2022

In the latest in a series of profiles on members of our Business and Property Department, Amie Boothman, who became a full member of Exchange following the completion of her pupillage in September 2021, talks about the development of her practice and the importance of supporting the next generation of barristers.

Amie, who was called to the Bar in 2019, has a broad commercial and chancery practice covering commercial litigation, insolvency (both corporate and personal) and property.

Amie’s commercial litigation practice spans from misrepresentation claims arising from property transactions and construction disputes, equine disputes and various breach of contract / negligence claims to representing multi-nationals at interim hearings and multi-day trials.

Amie’s insolvency work encompasses anything from public / private examinations, remuneration applications and contested bankruptcy petitions / statutory demands to acting on behalf of the first respondent in Re Farrar Construction Limited [2022] EWHC 24 (Ch) earlier this year which concerned a creditor vs creditor challenge on a proof of debt.

In terms of Amie’s property practice, she has been instructed from the outset on various matters in an advisory capacity, followed by preparing pleadings in respect of the same matters and then ultimately attending court for interim hearings and trials in disputes concerning commercial leases, trespass claims, disrepair and boundary disputes.

Amie studied law for three years at Lancaster University and, after graduating, started what is now the Bar Professional Course full-time in Manchester.

Like many aspiring barristers, securing pupillage was far from straightforward.

“While I was invited to interviews during my first round of applying for pupillage, I ultimately didn’t receive any offers,” says Amie. “I think that was for two reasons; I’d taken the view that I needed to apply to as many sets as possible to increase my chances, which diluted the quality of each application, and with the benefit of hindsight I think I wasn’t quite ready and needed some ‘real-life’ experience.”

Amie spent the year between the first and second round of pupillage applications working for a medical care / costs company which involved attending NHS England appeal panels all over the country on behalf of patients in respect of their funding applications.

“Effectively, I spent most of my time preparing written advice for patients and their families and presenting their application before panels which gave me a year of advocacy experience and exposure to clients often facing or in the middle of sensitive circumstances,” she explains.

Amie took a more focused approach to her second round of pupillage applications, applying to a select number of Manchester-based Chambers.  Thanks to her Inn of Court, she also had a mentor who provided advice and guidance.

After successfully navigating Exchange’s application process, Amie started pupillage in September 2020 and became a full member in September 2021.

“The reality of life at Exchange has completely surpassed my expectations,” continues Amie.

“There have been two main surprises; the pace at which my practice has grown since tenancy and the camaraderie in chambers. It’s impossible to study the Bar course outside of London and not hear of Exchange Chambers and its reputation; a northern powerhouse and a collegiate, impressive set. Once starting pupillage, I really got to understand why Exchange has the reputation it has, from the guidance I received from the head of the pupillage committee to the support from my pupil supervisors as well as the junior members of chambers.

“I hadn’t envisaged the quality and volume of my work being what it is this early on in my career. While I am very much in my infancy of practice, my paper practice is very busy (both advisory and with pleadings) and I am in court most days. I would say the quality of my work is the cause of two factors; the forward-thinking approach the clerking team adopt in relation to each individual barrister’s career and the calibre of the solicitors that instruct me.”

Since tenancy, Amie has also made a conscious effort to be involved with her Inn of Court by attending residential weekends as a tutor and interviewing for the Bar and GDL scholarships.

“Given the amount of support and assistance I gained from Lincoln’s Inn during my studies, I’m delighted to help,” concludes Amie. “I’ve also made a real effort to speak to students at law fairs and university talks in the last 18 months about the daily realities of a commercial practice at the bar to dismantle the common misconception that a commercial practice means little court / advocacy exposure; it really is the norm for me to be in court almost every day of each week, while also balancing a very busy paper practice.”