BRAIN FOOD: Unlikely managers, Barristers' chief clerk, Chambers of Clive Nicholls QC, Grays Inn, London

BRAIN FOOD: Unlikely managers, Barristers' chief clerk, Chambers of Clive Nicholls QC, Grays Inn, London - Name Ian Collins

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Name Ian Collins

When did you become a manager?

I've been in these chambers for 30 years. I started as the office boy and worked my way up. I was No. 2 for 14 years and took over as senior clerk in 1997 on the retirement of my predecessor.

What does management mean to you?

Running chambers as efficiently and effectively as possible. We have to keep up the traditions of the Bar. I manage the five-strong clerking team but also about 40 members of chambers in court, and 10 pupils. Everyone's problem is your problem. Barristers never switch off. Sometimes you have to say: 'Ease up a bit; take time out.' They're on top of the world, then the pressure gets to them and they become snappy. You have to be thick-skinned.

What do you love/hate about it?

We have a tremendous reputation: it's like saying you play for Man United.

I don't like it when barristers' court cases overrun - the solicitors are not best pleased.

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