The South East Circuit is an influential representative body whose reputation and success is down to effective delegation, close connections and collaborative problem solving. Jenny Ramage reports

“Outside London, there is a feeling among some people that the South East Circuit is London. It is not. We ensure that it isn’t.” This is a message that the leader of the circuit, Stephen Leslie QC, is keen to convey. Too many people, he says, think of the South East Circuit simply as “London with a bolt-on”. But this perception is far from the reality: just four of the circuit’s 11 county divisions – or ‘messes’, as they are better known – are in London.

The 11 messes are divided up as follows: in London, there’s the Central London mess, Surrey & South London, North London, and the Central Criminal Court. Outside London the messes are Kent, Sussex, Thames Valley, Essex, East Anglia, Hertfordshire & Bedfordshire, and Cambridge & Pe...

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