Application Process

Application Form 

The Offer

For the 2021/22 applications round we are offering three funded pupillages. One will commence in September 2021 and two in September 2022.


The total package is £40,000 guaranteed as set out below.

£20,000 will be paid to pupils for their first six; payments are staggered over seven months.

In relation to the second six, £20,000 in earnings is guaranteed over the second six period and is automatically paid to the pupil on a monthly basis and recovered from fees received. This is in order to ensure the pupil is not left without any income during the first few vital months of practice.

We also provide a bursary to all of our pupils of £200 to contribute towards the cost of their gown and wig, this is a legacy from Jean Southworth QC, once a member of chambers and one of the first women silks at the Bar.

The First Six

At QEB Hollis Whiteman, pupillage is split into a ‘first six’ of six months, followed by an extended ‘second six’ of ten months, with the decision whether to take on a pupil as a tenant made in January/February each year.

Pupils spend their first six months in the company and under the tutelage of their pupil supervisor.

The Bar is a stressful profession. In working closely with their pupil supervisor, the pupil will be involved in the problem solving, decision-making and advocacy that make up a barrister’s daily working life.

They will also be asked to give assistance to other barristers in chambers. Not only does this help them but it enables the pupil to have their work seen by a wide selection of tenants.

Pupils will probably be at court for the majority of their first six. As they approach their second six and their first brief, we ensure that pupils go to court with our most junior tenants, this allows them to watch the type of work that the pupil will soon be doing.

Advocacy Training

Throughout the first six, (having had a few weeks to settle in) we run an in-house course of advocacy classes for first six pupils, which are attended by barristers of all levels of seniority, including the Head of Chambers. These courses lead to a mock trial at the Old Bailey in March each year in front of Old Bailey Judges. By the time this moment comes our pupils are fully prepared to take on anything!

The Second Six

The extended ‘second six’ at QEB Hollis Whiteman, from March to January of the following year, allows us to get to know pupils as well as possible and allows them the opportunity of building their practice before the decision as to whether their future lies within QEB Hollis Whiteman is taken.

Each successive generation of pupils provides valuable help and encouragement to their successors during the five months that their careers overlap.

Once pupils start their second six months, they begin to demonstrate the benefits of all the training they have done. They will be in court very soon and, if our recent pupils are an accurate guide, they are likely to be appearing in court four or five times a week.

The initial work they do will be in Magistrates’ Courts, then mentions and applications in the Crown Court. We would not allow our pupils to do a jury trial until very late into their training, and then only once their pupil supervisor certifies that they are ready and competent to do such a case.

Our pupils are always busy but the Bar is a market profession and we depend on solicitors to send us work. They expect us to give them and their clients the highest quality of service. Our reputation within the Criminal Bar depends on our ability to do just that.

Further Information

Before the start of pupillage we provide all our new pupils with our pupillage handbook which gives detailed information about life and pupillage at QEB Hollis Whiteman. New pupils are also invited for drinks with our current pupils for a ‘behind the scenes’ and realistic explanation.

Application Process

  1. Download our Application Form (MS Word format) and save it on your computer using the following naming convention: ‘PA2021/22_your first name_your family name'
  2. Having saved the file, open it in MS Word from your computer and complete it as indicated; you can save the form as you fill it in, so it does not have to be completed and submitted in one operation.
  3. Please complete all applicable fields in the form being careful to observe word limits where indicated (failure to observe word limits will result in the application being disregarded) and ensure that it is sent to us in accordance with the instructions below so that we receive it BEFORE 11am ON 8th FEBRUARY 2021 (applications received after this deadline, for whatever reason, will not be considered).
  4. Once you have completed the form and are satisfied with it, save it on your computer and send the file by email to PLEASE ENSURE THE FOLLOWING TEXT APPEARS IN THE SUBJECT LINE OF THE EMAIL (inserting your first and family names, separated with a comma, as indicated): 
    “PA 2021/22 – your first name, your family name”.
  5. Equality and Diversity 
    QEB Hollis Whiteman is committed to ensuring equality of opportunity and being a diverse set of Chambers. In order to help us achieve that aim, and to enable us effectively to monitor our recruitment processes we invite you to complete and submit our Equality and Diversity Monitoring form. There is no obligation to complete this survey and it does not form part of the pupillage application process. If you submit the survey the information supplied will be anonymised and treated in the strictest confidence.
  6. If you encounter any difficulties in undertaking the application process please email us at


Publication of advertisements on the Pupillage Gateway.
MONDAY 4th JANUARY 2021, 11am
Applications open: the submissions window for applications opens and candidates can start to share their applications with their chosen pupillage providers.
MONDAY 8th FEBRUARY 2021, 11am
Applications close: the submissions window for applications  closes and no further applications or amendments to applications are allowed.
Shortlisting and interviews: AETOs sift through applications, shortlist candidates and conduct interviews during this period.
FRIDAY 7 MAY 2021, 9am
Offers made: AETOs will make offers on this date.
AETOs are not able to make offers to applicants in advance of this date. they also must not make informal or indicative offers in advance.
FRIDAY 14 MAY 2021, 9am
Deadline for accepting initial offers: all applicants have a seven-day deadline to communicate acceptance of an offer (if any). Applicants will be able to accept and offer anytime up until the deadline.

Once an offer is accepted this is considered to be binding upon you. 

Equal Opportunities

QEB Hollis Whiteman is committed to equal opportunities and does not discriminate on the grounds of race (including colour, nationality, and ethnic and national origin), sex, pregnancy and maternity, disability, sexual orientation, marriage or civil partnership, religion or belief, age, or gender assignment. If a successful candidate has a disability, we will endeavour to make reasonable adjustments.

QEB Hollis Whiteman is committed to assisting the Bar to become as diverse and inclusive as possible. To this end, we encourage applications from university students and post-graduates from less advantaged backgrounds and those from minority ethnic communities.

Arabella MacDonald is the appointed Equality and Diversity officer in Chambers.