A pupillage at 4 New Square Chambers will give you a real insight into what it is like to practise in a leading commercial set of chambers.
Our 88 barristers have a strong reputation for commercial litigation, professional negligence, construction, costs litigation, professional discipline, financial services, insurance work, international arbitration, sports law and public law. Our aim is to recruit two new tenants each year and it is our express intention, wherever possible, to source those tenants from our own 12 month pupils. As it is our hope and ambition that each of our pupils should reach the required objective standard for tenancy, it follows that our general recruitment practice is to select two 12 month pupils each year. We do not stream our pupils and each has an equal prospect of securing a tenancy.
The total annual award is £75,000, comprising a £65,000 award (of which £5,000 is paid immediately upon acceptance of the offer and a further £15,000 can be drawn down during the BPTC year) and guaranteed earnings in the second 6 months of £10,000. Pupils are allowed to keep any earnings from their second 6 months, including any earned in excess of the £10,000 guarantee.
Successful candidates for pupillage must demonstrate the ability and motivation to succeed in the areas of work our members specialise in.
The aim of our selection process is to allow candidates to show they meet a standard of excellence judged by our selection criteria. Our criteria are objective and we welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds and from all universities. The process focuses on your ability and aptitude, and our experience is that this is not pre-determined by the place that you studied, or the background that you come from.
In assessing candidates against our criteria we recognise that pupillage is itself a training process and that people follow different routes to pupillage and are often at different stages of their legal education. It is the potential of candidates we are concerned with. The aim of pupillage is to develop talent so that pupils go on to succeed as tenants in our chambers.
In considering prospective candidates for pupillage or mini-pupillage, we concentrate on four criteria:
For further detail regarding selection criteria please see here.
We observe a policy of equal opportunities and select our mini-pupils, pupils and tenants on merit alone, irrespective of race, gender, age, sexuality, religious belief, disability, marital status or background.
We cannot guarantee that any pupil will be offered a tenancy, but we recruit by objective standards, and any pupil reaching those standards will be taken on, regardless of issues such as accommodation or work available. We give every assistance to pupils who have not been offered a tenancy when seeking places in other chambers. We also find that our former pupils are sought-after by good firms of solicitors.
“My supervisors were wholeheartedly committed to helping me improve and gave me detailed feedback on my work. I enjoyed the breadth and depth of the work I saw during pupillage, which were mostly ‘live’ work on my supervisor’s on-going cases. The learning curve is steep and it was a demanding year, but also a very rewarding one.”
At the beginning of the pupillage year, each pupil will be introduced to as many of the members of Chambers, clerks and staff as practicable. Early on in pupillage, pupils will also be offered training in respect of pleadings by some more junior members of Chambers (but not the pupil supervisors) or by an outside trainer. During the first three months of pupillage, there will also be an advocacy-training workshop.
Pupillage is split into 3 periods with 3 different pupil supervisors. The periods run from October to December, from January to March, and from April to September.
The work pupils do is largely based on our core work (as described in paragraph 1 of the pupillage policy) but as members of Chambers (including pupil supervisors) have their own specialised practices, pupils may also see other areas of Chambers’ work.
The work of a pupil is varied and you will be involved in most aspects of your pupil supervisor’s practice. You will attend court and conferences with your pupil supervisor. You will assist your pupil supervisor with their work, for instance by carrying out detailed legal research. You will also draft statements of case and write opinions.
In the second six months you will continue to do work for your own supervisor and you also do some assessed written work for a prescribed panel of other members of Chambers. Chambers places great importance on getting pupils into court in their practising 6 months as appropriate and you can expect to be in court about once a week during your second six so far as possible.
There will also be two moots during pupillage, which are assessed pieces of work. The pupil supervisors provide feedback to the pupils following the moots, which are normally judged by members of the judiciary. Prior to the practising period of pupillage, there is also a further training session on the types of applications and hearings which you are likely to undertake during your second six months.
For full details of the training that Chambers provide as part of pupillage, please click here.
We aim to provide a friendly, supportive and sociable atmosphere. Pupils are included in Chambers social events throughout the year.
We believe that great barristers, great clerks and great staff members can come from all walks of life. We also believe that people perform at their best when they get the support they need.
We seek to implement those values in our working lives in chambers. We respect one another. We strive, wherever we can, to make chambers a positive, inclusive and friendly place. We aim to provide mutual support to help each other whatever our backgrounds, age, gender, race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, physical abilities or gender identity.
We know that the Commercial Bar has a great deal of ground to cover in relation to equality and diversity. We seek to make up that ground wherever we can. We do so by recognising that as different individuals in chambers we need different types of support. Our goal is always to adapt and to find new ways to provide that support; and to take responsibility for promoting diversity and inclusion.
4 New Square is committed to Equality and Diversity.
We do not discriminate on the grounds of:
Although as a set of Chambers we work together in pursuit of a common purpose, we recognise that it is the contribution which we make as individuals which creates our success. This is the reason that Chambers sets out its policy clearly and adheres to it. We recognise that the provision of equal opportunities in Chambers will help Members of Chambers, pupils and staff to develop their full potential, talent and resources and allow us as an organisation to succeed.
We have a comprehensive Equality and Diversity Policy which applies to clients, members of Chambers and members of staff, pupils, mini-pupils, pupillage and tenancy applicants, job applicants, contract workers, agency workers, trainee workers and students on work experience or placements, volunteer workers, former members of Chambers and former members of staff. It sets out the policies which we have adopted in order to comply with the obligations imposed upon us by law, the Bar Code of Conduct and the Attorney General’s Equality and Diversity Expectations Statement.
All members of Chambers and members of staff receive regular equality and diversity training and, additional relevant training is provided to members of Chambers and staff who are involved in recruitment.
We have a parenthood leave policy which gives rent and expenses free periods to primary and secondary carers. We also support flexible working. We have a Fair Access to Work Committee which monitors the allocation of work between members of Chambers.
A number of members of Chambers are actively involved with the Social Mobility Foundation, both as e-mentors and in hosting SMF candidates for placements.
Chambers has ten Equality and Diversity Officers. They are currently Paul Mitchell KC, Helen Evans KC, Stephen Innes, Shail Patel, Lucy Colter, Marie-Claire O’Kane, Mark Cullen, Diarmuid Laffan, Seohyung Kim, and Carola Binney. Together with other appropriate members of Chambers, the Equality and Diversity Officers monitor the effective implementation of the Equality and Diversity Policy and regularly review its effectiveness. Chambers’ Diversity Data Officer is Richard Liddell.
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Former Pupil, 2018-19