The Pupillage Year

Marie-Claire O’Kane
Call: 2013
Pupil: 2013-14

Marie-Claire O’Kane

Prior to coming to the Bar, Marie-Claire studied law at Harvard Law School, Oxford University, University of Paris II Pantheon-Assas and Trinity College Dublin. At Trinity, she was awarded the Law School Prize for obtaining the top first in in her undergraduate Law and French degree. As a postgraduate, Marie-Claire received a BCL with distinction from Jesus College, Oxford. Marie-Claire was subsequently awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue further graduate study at Harvard Law School, where her studies included both private law (in particular US tort law and insurance law) and constitutional and human rights law. While in the US, Marie-Claire also spent a term studying the art of rhetoric at the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Marie-Claire has taught law as a visiting tutor at the London School of Economics and King’s College London and has acted as an Assistant Examiner in tort law at the University of London. She has also spent a period working in administrative justice policy as a member of the Secretariat to the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council.

Since joining 4 New Square, Marie-Claire has built a varied practice encompassing all areas of chambers’ work, including commercial dispute resolution, professional liability, financial services regulation, insurance, property litigation, construction, sports law and public law. She appears regularly in a range of small claims, applications and interlocutory hearings in the county court and High Court.

Marie-Claire has experience of bringing and defending actions against a variety of professionals, including solicitors, barristers, IFAs, accountants, surveyors and construction professionals. She has a particular interest in financial services regulation and has been involved in a large scale s166 FSMA skilled person review in relation to the mis-selling of interest rate hedging products.

Marie-Claire is developing a broad insurance practice and acts regularly for professional indemnity insurers in the context of professional liability claims. She has also assisted in a variety of insurance matters as a pupil involving issues relating to aggregation, coverage disputes, notification, breach of conditions, the SRA assigned risks pool and insurance claims arising out of damage to property caused by fire. She maintains an interest in international and comparative insurance law issues, having studied the insurance law and policy of the United States as a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard Law School. In the European context, Marie-Claire has recently published on the practical effects of the reform of the Brussels I Regulation on insurance claims.

Since joining chambers, Marie-Claire has been involved in several large scale commercial disputes, including acting as Arbitral Tribunal Secretary in a multi-million dollar ICC arbitration arising from a construction dispute; a multi-million pound valuers’ negligence claim led by Patrick Lawrence QC; and a multi-billion dollar claim by a sovereign wealth fund against an investment bank.

She is developing a sports law practice and her experience to date includes cases involving both regulatory and insurance issues arising in basketball, rugby and darts.

Marie-Claire also maintains an interest in public law. She is a duty advocate with the Asylum Support Appeals Project (ASAP) and appears regularly in the First-tier Tribunal (Asylum Support). She is committed to undertaking pro bono work and is happy to accept such instructions.


Joshua Folkard
Call: 2013
Pupil: 2014-15

Joshua Folkard

Josh read Law at University College, Oxford. He was awarded the Wronker Law Prize for the joint best performance in the university, the paper prize for Torts and the Gibbs Prize for Contract, Torts, Trusts and Land Law. He subsequently completed the BCL at Merton College, where he won the paper prize for Principles of Civil Procedure. He was graded Outstanding on the BPTC, and is an Atkin Scholar of Gray’s Inn.

Since joining 4 New Square Josh has established a broad commercial practice including commercial dispute resolution and arbitration, the conflict of laws, professional liability and insurance. Josh also has a growing sports law practice.

Josh’s recent work includes:

  • Led by Justin Fenwick QC and Graham Chapman in a fraud claim against auditors in the Cayman Islands.
  • Led by Anneliese Day QC and Professor Jonathan Harris QC in a dispute between an Austrian owner of patents and intellectual property and a Hong Kong producer of plant protection products.
  • Junior Counsel for the successful Respondent in the Court of Appeal case of Rollerteam v Riley [2016] EWCA Civ 1291, a case concerning the construction of section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989.
  • Junior to Justin Fenwick QC resisting application to set aside service out of Antigua and Barbuda on two US law firms.
  • Instructed in the recovery of a loan from a New York individual by a company registered in the BVI.
  • Sole Counsel successfully resisting a High Court application to vary the terms of a freezing injunction over commercial property.
  • Sole instruction in a claim against conveyancing solicitors stated to be worth £250,000 arising from the alleged failure to advise regarding the dangers of proceeding without planning permission and/or recommending an insurance policy for possible losses arising from the lack of such permission.
  • Defending a mortgage broker from allegations of fraud, involving limitation issues arising from alleged deliberate concealment and section 32 of the Limitation Act 1980. The claim went on appeal to a Circuit Judge.
  • Instructed to advise insurers on the prospects of success of a subrogated claim relating to fire damage to vehicles stored on third party premises.
  • Instructed in a subrogated recovery claim arising from a fire caused by electrical works at a residential property.
  • Junior to George Spalton in an FA Rule K Football Arbitration concerning a player-agent dispute relating to a representation contract.
  • Sole instruction defending an amateur cyclist before the National Anti-Doping Panel in respect of an alleged anti-doping violation concerning EPO under the Cycling Time Trial Anti-Doping Rules.
  • Assisting in the establishment of a suitable process to determine a quantum issue on behalf of the Parliamentary Commissioner in an investigation into maladministration by the Environment Agency.

Assessment is a major part of pupillage but not its aim. The aim of the pupillage year is to develop the talent of our pupils so that each of them reaches the required objective standard for tenancy. We want our pupils to succeed.

Starting your pupillage

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 structure

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 first six months

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.

The second six months

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.


We aim to provide a friendly, supportive and sociable atmosphere.  Pupils are included in Chambers social events throughout the year.