The ICCA academic team

The ICCA academic team has over 130 years’ practice at the bar and are passionate about educating and guiding the new generation of barristers.

Drawing on a wealth of experience, the ICCA academic team have designed the entire ICCA Bar Course which also includes complementary learning outcomes and supporting materials to provide a high academic experience for all students.

Find out more about the ICCA academic team, and where their journey has taken them.

Lynda Gibbs QC (Hon)


Lynda was called to the Bar in 1993 by the Middle Temple, and practised in criminal and family law on the Midland Circuit before embarking on a legal academic career. She became Dean of the ICCA in 2019 and leads post-qualification and Bar training.

Lynda was appointed QC Honoris Causa in 2020 in recognition of her work to promote a fairer justice system for the vulnerable and the young, and to improve Bar training.

Chris Kessling


Chris was called to the Bar in 1992 by the Middle Temple.

Chris was in full-time practice as a criminal barrister for 21 years, working mainly across the East Midlands, specialising in serious criminal offences both for the prosecution and defence.

Chris joined the ICCA in 2019 and continues to follow his passion for advocacy and Bar training to the highest level.

Barnaby Pinfield

Bar Course Leader

Barnaby was called to the bar in 2001 by Lincoln’s Inn. He initially started in family practice before branching out to have a fully mixed practice.

After leaving the Bar, Barnaby worked on an inquiry in Northern Ireland looking into the adequacy of a murder investigation following a death in 1997. In 2017 he was appointed an Associate Professor at the University of Law.

Barnaby is an accredited advocacy training; sits as a fee-paid judge in the First Tier Social Security Tribunal; and acts as a standard setter on the Bar Training Civil Litigation paper.

Jane Hutton

Director of Online Learning

Jane was called to the Bar in 1999 by Gray’s Inn. Following practice at the Criminal Bar she joined the University of Law as a lecturer in 2006. During her time there she taught on, assessed and designed a number of aspects of the criminal BPTC and was Criminal Team Leader.

Jane joined the ICCA in 2018 as a Bar Course designer. She was appointed as one of the first Heads of Online Learning at the College in 2019, and earlier this year became Joint Director of Online Learning, responsible for online learning College-wide.

Patrick Ryan

Director of Online Learning

Patrick was called to the Bar by Inner Temple in 2003, and was a criminal practitioner on the Northern Circuit for 7 years.

In 2011 he began teaching on the Bar Course at Manchester Metropolitan University, where at various times he was Associate Course Director and head of the civil advocacy and professional ethics modules.

Patrick joined the ICCA in 2018 as a Bar Course designer. He was appointed as one of the College’s first Heads of Online Learning in 2019 and in 2021 became Joint Director of Online Learning. In addition to his role at the College, Patrick is a Northern Circuit advocacy trainer.

Alexandra Frith

Alex was called to the bar in 1993 by Lincoln’s Inn, and joined Westgate Chambers in Brighton, where she remains a tenant.

Alex began her teaching career on the Bar Professional Training Course at Kaplan Law School before moving to the University of Law in 2014 and then joining the ICCA in 2019.

Alex is also the author of A Practical Approach to Landlord and Tenant (now in its 8th Edition).

Steven Johnson

Steve was called to the Bar in 1984 by Middle Temple. He practised on the Northern Circuit for 25 years, and has been an accredited advocacy trainer since the early 1990’s.

He was the Head of Advocacy at Manchester Metropolitan University on the BPTC for ten years and enjoyed a short spell at City University before becoming one of the two criminal course designers for the ICCA.

Steve is an External advocacy assessor to the CPS and an SRA Higher Court Rights assessor. He is a standard setter for the BSB.

Steve Wells

Steve was called to the bar in 2000 by Lincoln’s Inn. He practised on the South-eastern Circuit as a criminal barrister for 10 years, both prosecuting and defending, having had a taste of civil, employment and family law.

Steve’s specialist areas of interest include drug importation, sex, violence, and benefit fraud.

Steve has been teaching on Bar courses since 2010 having started his academic career at Kaplan Law School. He joined the ICCA in 2019 as one of two criminal course designers and is a course tutor.

Kevin Farrelly

Kevin was called to the bar in 1992 by Middle Temple.

From a state school beginning, Kevin has been at the Lincoln’s Inn Chambers of Francis Barlow since 1991, specialising as a property litigator with particular emphasis on landlord and tenant, leasehold enfranchisement, boundary disputes, easements, and wills and trust issues and professional negligence problems related to those areas.

Kevin began his teaching career in 2015 as a Visiting Lecturer, before taking up teaching full time in 2017 at The University of Law.

Andrea Ursprung