The Pupillage Year

Seohyung Kim
Call: 2016
Pupil: 2018-19

Seohyung Kim

Seohyung studied Maths and Literature at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Outstanding Achievement Award), a Masters in Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford (Distinction, highest mark of the year for dissertation), and an LLM at Harvard Law School.

Seohyung was a judicial assistant to Lord Justice David Richards in the Court of Appeal where she assisted in the preparation of a number of high-profile appeals. She has particular experience in international arbitration having worked at both Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s international arbitration team in Paris and Fietta LLP in London before coming to the bar.

Since joining 4 New Square, Seohyung is establishing a broad commercial practice, including commercial dispute resolution, international arbitration, professional liability, insurance and sports law.

Seohyung’s recent work includes:

  • Led by Justin Fenwick QC, Tim Chelmick and Matt Gregoire in a corruption and force majeure claim in North Africa;
  • Led by Roger Stewart QC, Tim Chelmick, Tom Ogden and Hannah Daly in an IT dispute in healthcare concerning fraud and contractual breaches;
  • Advice on enforcing arbitration awards against a state under the State Immunity Act 1978;
  • Sole counsel defending a nuisance claim arising from alleged encroachment of Japanese Knotweed;
  • Sole counsel defending a firm of solicitors against allegations of negligent conveyancing;
  • Advising and defending as sole counsel a claim concerning equitable assignment, unjust enrichment, and resulting trusts;
  • Assisting in a FA Rule K Football Arbitration concerning a manager-club dispute;
  • Advising on interim measures under the European Court of Human Rights;
  • Advising British Para Table Tennis on their selection policy.

 

Melody Ihuoma
Call: 2018
Pupil: 2018-19

     Melody Ihuoma

Melody read law at Balliol College, University of Oxford. During her time there, she was awarded the Brackenbury Scholarship, Brackenbury Exhibition and the Alan Rodger Prize in Roman Law. Upon completing her undergraduate degree, she co-authored an article on the standard of care in the tort of negligence (“A Tour of the Tort of Negligence” (2016) 32 Professional Negligence 137). Melody returned to Oxford in 2016 for the Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) and achieved distinctions in Philosophical Foundations of the Common Law and in a dissertation (“Subjectivity and Objectivity in the Law of Contract Damages”).

Since joining chambers, Melody has been involved in a range of commercial disputes. Examples include acting, as a junior, in an US$ 800 million civil fraud claim involving allegations of bribery and breach of fiduciary duty spanning across decades. Melody has also advised on the proper interpretation of exclusion and limitation clauses in a sale and purchase agreement.

Melody has also been building a professional negligence practice; she has acted in claims involving a range of professionals, including solicitors and construction professionals. Examples include settling the defence in a solicitors’ negligence loss of a chance claim and contributing to closing submissions for a dispute involving a waste facility.

Insurance is an area of special interest for Melody. During pupillage, Melody prepared an advice on the application of the terms “claim” and “single claim” in a directors and officers liability insurance policy and drafting pleadings for claims against insurers and insurance brokers. Since starting practice as a tenant, Melody has gone on to act for insurers in the defence of a claim brought under an “all risks on portable property” insurance policy.

Melody is also building practice in sports law. Her experience in this area includes, during pupillage, drafting the skeleton argument for an EFL arbitration involving a dispute over the interpretation of a transfer agreement and, more recently, assisting in the preparation of written submissions and expert evidence for a preliminary investigation by UK Anti-doping into the alleged presence of dorzolamide in an athlete’s urine sample.

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.

Advocacy

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.

Training

For full details of the training that Chambers provide as part of pupillage, please click here.

Environment

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