'an exceptional, ‘top-end’ set with a long-standing reputation for professionalism and efficiency' Chambers UK 2017
'very well-managed chambers' Chambers UK 2018
'a squad with great depth' Legal 500, 2017
As a top-tier chambers we are committed to the recruitment, training, and wellbeing of the next generation of barristers. Our pupillage programme provides high-quality personalised guidance to recognise talent and encourage it to grow.
The award is made up of two parts:
- A £30,000 grant paid to cover the non-practising first-six.
- A £25,000 minimum income threshold during our extended practising period.
For more information, please see Application Process.
Pupillage with us lasts 16-18 months and comprises a first-six ‘non-practising’ period which includes weekly advocacy classes, followed by a 10-12 month practising period after which time our pupils are invited to apply for full tenancy. We do not offer probationary tenancies.
We are first and foremost a criminal chambers and general crime is at the core of our pupils’ training and practice. But we recognise the unique pressures on the publicly funded criminal bar and so we guarantee close-up experience in all areas of chambers’ work.
In our experience, our commitment to criminal advocacy provides a solid basis for a practice in professional regulation, private prosecutions, and public law.
The First Six
Our pupils spend the first six months shadowing their allocated pupil supervisor and other members of chambers. This work can involve drafting written submissions, researching complex legal, procedural and evidential issues, and offering general assistance during the conduct of trials.
Pupils are also asked to take on written work for other members of chambers to prepare them for life as a barrister. We make sure that pupils are fully involved in the problem solving, decision-making, and advocacy that make up a barrister’s daily working life.
Some members of chambers, including some of our pupil supervisors, are Treasury Counsel based at the Central Criminal Court. Our pupils therefore gain experience from those who prosecute the most complex and high profile criminal trials.
International work is part of chambers life. First six pupils in the past have assisted in overseas jurisdictions including the Seychelles, Kenya, the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong and Qatar.
From 2022/23 onwards, each pupil will also be given the opportunity to spend three weeks shadowing a member of our private prosecutions team.
The first six months also involves getting to know chambers. Pupils are regularly included in events happening in chambers, including seminars and social events. We also provide our pupils with a detailed handbook to prepare them for our programme.
Our pupillage programme includes weekly advocacy sessions for our first-six pupils to prepare them for life on their feet.
The sessions are run by our advanced advocacy trainer Ali Naseem Bajwa KC. Members of chambers from junior members to silks attend as guest judges to provide their experience, including Treasury Counsel and our Heads of Chambers. This also ensures pupils receive feedback from those with different practices and styles of advocacy.
The course concludes in March with a mock trial at the Central Criminal Court, before real judges. Members of chambers attend to watch and to act as witnesses and jurors. Pupils receive bespoke feedback on their advocacy from their Judge and advocacy trainers.
By the end of the programme, our pupils are prepared to start their practice.
The Second Six
By maintaining the highest standards of advocacy and quality of service, we ensure our pupils are instructed in an array of cases and are consistently challenged to achieve excellence.
Pupils start on their feet with trials in the magistrates’ courts but quickly progress to pre-trial hearings in the Crown Court. Our pupils are typically instructed in their first Crown Court trial before the end of their pupillage.
We also ensure our pupils maintain a balanced practice of prosecution and defence work. Our pupils apply for Grade I CPS Advocate Panel status as soon as they start their second-six. This allows them to prosecute lists of trials in the magistrates’ courts once or twice a week, alongside their defence work.
Chambers is committed to general crime remaining a financially viable practice area. However, we recognise the acute pressure currently faced by legal aid practitioners. We therefore ensure our pupils are regularly instructed in privately funded crime work and regulatory matters throughout their second six to broaden their specialisms and to support their earnings.
Our Extended Programme
Our pupillage programme includes the non-practising first six months, followed by an extended practising period of 10-12 months.
The BSB-mandated ‘second-six’ ends 12 months after pupillage begins, and so our pupils are qualified barristers from that point. However, we only invite applications for tenancy four to six months after that.
We operate this extended system to allow proper time for experience, assessment and training. We recognise the longer commitment that this requires from our pupils but experience has shown that this extended period allows for enhanced development and time to maximise the prospects of tenancy. It also enables our new tenants to begin a full Crown Court practice immediately.
We also believe it is key to our pupils’ wellbeing to be given more time to feel part of chambers. We recognise that applying to join a set is a serious decision and we take pride in ensuring our prospective tenants feel properly included before inviting applications.
Our system also allows our second six pupils to overlap with our new first-six pupils. This ensures that experience is passed on between cohorts. Our second-six pupils provide first six pupils with training, support, and encouragement.
Upon completion of puillage, our pupils are invited to apply for tenancy. We do not operate a system of probationary or time-limited tenancies.
Third Six Pupillage
Our commitment to our full pupillage programme means we do not offer third six pupillages except in highly exceptional circumstances, so our pupils will not be in competition with those who have completed their pupillage elsewhere.
Please see Recruitment of Members for the exceptional circumstances where we recruit probationary tenants.
If you are interested in discussing an opportunity please feel free to contact either Heads of Chambers, Adrian Darbishire KC or Selva Ramasamy KC, or Senior Clerk, Chris Emmings, on 020 7933 8870, for an initial discussion.