We have over 100 members of Chambers at present, including 7 QCs. Around half of our members are based in London and the others are split between our Winchester and Swindon offices. Historically a London and a Western Circuit set, we now describe our geographic focus as London, the South and the West. About 60% of our work is on Circuit, including most of the Criminal, and a significant proportion of this is in Hampshire though we also travel to Dorset, Wiltshire and further afield. Our London practitioners travel out on Circuit when their practice requires.
We are broadly divided into three practice areas – Family, Criminal and Civil – with multiple specialist teams within these areas. The spread of work in Chambers is approximately 50% Family, 25% Criminal and 25% Civil. Members from all of our teams regularly appear in the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
Each team focuses attention upon the main practice areas, arranging marketing and seminars, and facilitating the dissemination of new ideas or developments in the law to those in Chambers who are interested. Some members of Chambers practise almost exclusively in one or another area, whilst others have a practice that spans several specialisms. For the first three years of practice, junior tenants joining Chambers belong to all three teams and will spend time working on cases and matters covering a wide range of issues.
Pupillages are for 12 months, commencing in October, although adjustments may be made if necessary. We divide our Pupillages into three seats, with a Family, Criminal and Civil pupil supervisor respectively. You will spend two months with each of your three pupil supervisors both in your non-practising and practising periods of pupillage. You may elect to be based in London or Winchester, though if you choose London you will spend one seat based in Winchester, and vice versa.
We encourage you to travel with your supervisors although not necessarily to every hearing, nor those at a great distance. We also encourage you to see other members of Chambers at work, particularly the junior tenants in order to familiarise yourself with the type of work you will be doing in the practising period of your pupillage. We aim to ensure that our pupillages are as varied and interesting as possible.
The pupillage awards are as shown in the “Chambers Pupillages and Awards” guide issued by the Bar Council. We currently offer two 12-month pupillages with a grant of £19,000 and guaranteed earnings of £5,000 per pupil. In 2021, our award will change to a grant of £25,000, with guaranteed earnings of £9,000 and a £1,000 travel grant per pupil. Any third-six pupillages we offer are not funded, but in the past few years working pupils have consistently earned reasonably well.
We recruit our junior tenants exclusively from those who have served a period of pupillage in Pump Court Chambers. All pupils in Chambers who are eligible and apply will be considered. We usually make decisions about junior tenant appointments in July. Since 2007 we have taken on 18 of our pupils.
Come and speak to us at the Target Law Pupillage Fair, which is usually held in March each year in Lincoln’s Inn. We look forward to meeting you and answering your questions about Chambers and the Bar.
If you are looking for a pupillage in a common law chambers, we hope that you will consider Pump Court Chambers.
At Pump Court, we offer pupillages on the basis of a combination of academic merit and success at interview. If you are successful at the first interview you will be invited to a second interview and, if you are successful, we will make an offer in accordance with the OLPAS summer timetable.
Enquiries about the procedure for pupillage applications should be made to the Pupillage Gateway secretariat in good time for the start of the applications timetable. We are members of OLPAS. Application forms and further details can be obtained from the Bar Council Pupillage and Training Office at 289-293 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7HZ, from the Bar Council website or the Pupillage Gateway website. Applications should be submitted in accordance with the Pupillage Gateway timetable.