T: 020 7583 0811
E: chambers@12kbw.co.uk

The principal aim of pupillage is to ensure that pupils receive the education, training, support and guidance to fulfil their potential and to prepare them for a successful career at the Bar. Chambers normally expects to recruit tenants from pupils who have successfully completed pupillage.

Chambers offers up to three 12 month pupillages a year. During pupillage, each pupil will have three pupil supervisors and exposure to all core areas of practice.


Applicants are recruited on merit and their abilities. Pupillage is intellectually demanding but a person’s life experiences and commitment to practising at the Bar are also important attributes.

Inclusivity and non-discrimination form a solid part of Chambers recruitment process.

Chambers adopts a set of objective selection criteria which are reasonably reliable and valid.  When applying these criteria, Chambers will ensure that the Equality and Diversity Code for the Bar is fully complied with, and that due account is taken of the extent to which an applicant has overcome disadvantage.

Chambers will make reasonable adjustments to the application process for pupillage and tenancy for disabled applicants and will ensure that adjustments are made where practicable to facilitate pupils and/or practice as a tenant in the event of successful application.

All members of selection and recruitment panels will have received appropriate training in fair selection and recruitment methods.

2.       Pupillage applications will be accepted through the Pupillage Gateway, with details published on Chambers’ website.

3.       Selection will be on merit and particular attention will be paid to:

3.1       Academic achievement;

3.2       Evidence of motivation, commitment and capability regarding both a career at the Bar and pupillage at 12 King’s Bench Walk;

3.3       Non academic achievement.

These criteria will be considered in the light of the type of work Chambers undertakes.  Pupils will be selected on the basis of their written applications and thereafter candidates will be selected for interview.

4.       Chambers will normally seek to short list applicants for interview following members of Chambers separately analysing the application forms and thereafter meeting to draw up a short list. This task will be co-ordinated by the Pupillage Secretary. The short list will normally be in the region of 30 applications.   Interviewing will usually be by a panel of three. Chambers expects to offer a minimum of two and up to three 12-month pupillages per year.

5.       The funding of pupils from October 2019 is to be £55,000 for a twelve month pupillage. This is in the form of a £27,500 award for the first six months, and thereafter a guaranteed income of £27,500 for the second six months when it is anticipated that most pupils will be in court reasonably regularly. Chambers will comply with the Bar Council’s proposals for compulsory funding of pupillage.

5.1 During the first six months pupils will receive a non-refundable award of £27,500 payable by 5 monthly instalments of £4,600 and a final instalment of £4,500 per calendar month in advance.

5.2 During the second six months pupils will receive £27,500 guaranteed income payable by 5 monthly instalments of £4,600, and a final instalment of £4,500 per calendar month in advance refundable from fees received at any time for work billed during this period.

  • In the event that a pupil bills work to a value greater than £27,500 in the second six months, Chambers will deduct clerks’ fees (currently 12%) from the surplus above £27,500 when the fees are received.
  • During the second six months, and for however long afterwards it takes to collect such sums billed during this period, all settlements against bills for work undertaken by a pupil will be paid directly to chambers. Chambers will monitor levels of invoicing and ensure that income in excess of £27,500, less clerks fees, is paid to the pupil concerned.
  • For the avoidance of doubt if a pupil remains in chambers for a third sixth months, or any additional period, any fees billed or paid for work done in this period will be subject to a deduction for clerks’ fees (currently 12%) but will not be deductible against the guaranteed income received in the second six month
  • Up to £10,000 of the award may be drawn down in advance during the Bar Professional Training Course.


Pupils will be:

  • Assigned to a pupil supervisor but will be encouraged to attend court with other members of Chambers and to undertake research for persons other than their pupil
  • Each Pupil will also be assigned a junior tenant as a mentor to provide general support and with whom they can discuss any issues or concerns informally and in confidence.
  • Given a separate pupil supervisor after three or four months. This policy is designed to ensure that a pupil has exposure to as many tenants as possible and accordingly has an opportunity to become acquainted with a mixture of tenants.
  • Expected to undertake drafting and the writing of opinions and also to engage in research.
  • Required to complete a Training Plan and also to undertake the compulsory courses and assessments which the Bar Council requires. It is the duty of the pupil to secure attendance on compulsory courses. Appropriate arrangements will be made with pupil supervisors.
  • The responsibility to apply for a Provisional Practising Certificate, Full Qualification Certificate and Full Practising Certificate, lies with the Pupil. They must diarise the date on which to make their applications. They will be reminded and supported in the application process by their pupil supervisors.
  • The pupil will speak to his pupil supervisor before applying for tenancy or an extension of pupillage.


Pupils should be equipped with the skills, knowledge and behaviour to ultimately deliver legal services to a high standard on behalf of Chambers. Pupil supervisors, therefore, play a key role in supporting the development of pupils through implementation of the performance appraisal and feedback process.

Pupil Supervisors generally have 10 years’ experience in practice. Members are encouraged to become Pupil Supervisors, and those that wish to do so will first speak with the Pupil Secretary who will assess their suitability. The Pupillage Secretary will take into consideration the member’s own practice to ensure it is of a sufficient level to offer appropriate learning opportunities, professional experience and interaction with junior members of Chambers.

Pupil supervisors will:

  • Ensure that the Pupil has:
    • Bar Council and Chambers documents, which will be provided in the Pupillage Pack.
    • Building security Keys/Fobs
  • Ensure Pupils know about Chambers’:
    • IT Facilities
    • Dress code
    • Hours of work and holiday leave
  • Introduce the pupil to as many members of Chambers and staff.
  • Take an emergency contact number for their Pupil
  • Require each pupil to work through the Training Plan, including the threshold standard and competences, in the Pupillage Pack.
  • Ensure that the pupil undertakes the compulsory further education required by the Bar Council and that they are given appropriate preparation time.
  • Encourage the pupil to mix with other tenants apart from the pupil supervisor.
  • Encourage the pupil to go to court with junior members of Chambers towards the end of the first six months so as to gain direct experience of the type of work the pupil will undertake in the second six months.
  • Read and be familiar with the contents of the Bar Council’s Professional Statement, including the threshold standard and competences.
  • Keep under constant review the progress of their pupil. All work that is completed by the pupil should be appraised and the pupil given appropriate feedback to encourage improvement in any areas of perceived weakness. The pupil supervisor must ensure that this step is completed by any other member of chambers for whom the pupil works.
  • Remind pupils in good time to apply for a Provisional Practising Certificate, Full Qualification Certificate and Full Practising Certificate.
  • Contribute to the selection process if the pupil applies for a tenancy and should therefore ensure that they have properly monitored the pupil’s progress and that they are in a position to assist the selection committee as to the qualities of the pupil.
  • All pupil supervisors must attend the required training from one of the Inns of Court and any required refresher training every 5 years (or every 3 years if they have not supervised a pupil in that time)


Pupils are expected to achieve and maintain standards of work and conduct expected of a Member of the Bar. The aim is to ensure that the pupils have a thorough understanding and appreciation of the operation in practice of rules of conduct and etiquette at the Bar, and achieve a working knowledge and understanding of the Code of Conduct and the written standards for the conduct of professional work.

Chambers’ pupillage programme has been designed to produce barristers that have the key knowledge and skills to meet the competences set out in the BSB Professional Statement, to a “threshold standard”, in accordance with the Curriculum and Assessment strategy.

The pupillage programme will ensure that each pupil is exposed to a broad range of work, having regard to the key requirements of the Authorisation Framework, flexibility, accessibility, affordability and high standards.

Pupils will benefit from a structured training programme but one that still offers a flexible approach to meet each pupil’s specific needs and to develop the type of practice that they wish to have whilst still ensuring that they meet Chambers’ business needs.

Each pupil will complete a self-reflective Training Plan, in which a contemporaneous record of all work undertaken is outlined, including the relevant learning and reference points during non-practising and practising periods of Pupillage. This allows pupils to evaluate what they have learned and assess for themselves, in the first instance, whether it has met the expected level of competence as set out in the Professional Statement. It will promote a more reflective and transparent approach by both pupil and supervisor.

During the first (non-practising) six months of pupillage pupils will attend court, tribunal, arbitration & mediation hearings and attend conferences with their pupil supervisor, or with other member of chambers. This will provide a broad exposure to the tools of the trade enabling them to develop a paperwork practice, which will include researching the law, preparing advices, opinions, pleadings and skeletons in addition to advocacy, and negotiation skills.

Pupils will participate in Chambers’ in-house advocacy training exercise once a year, which compromises of a mock trail. This exercise is designed to help develop oral advocacy skills. Chambers considers the mock trial key part of the pupillage process.

During the second (practising) six months of pupillage, pupils will undertake their own court work. They will still be expected to update and discuss with their pupil supervisor the work they have been doing and must also continue to attend court and conferences with their pupil supervisor, where practicable.

We encourage our pupils to join the Free Representation Unit (FRU) to gain additional advocacy and case management experience.

Pupils will be appraised, and their performance assessed by their pupil supervisors through their pupillage. The allocation of all work completed will be monitored and managed by the pupil supervisor and pupils will receive written feedback from all those for whom they work. Every four months, the pupil will have a formal review meeting with their pupil supervisor, to discuss their progress and development in accordance with the Professional Statement competences.


The Director of Clerking, Senior Clerk and Practice Team Leaders will monitor the distribution of work to pupils during the second six months period of pupillage by:

  • Overseeing the distribution of work and will take all reasonable steps to ensure that each pupil is allocated work on an equal basis.
  • Monitoring the distribution of work by looking at the diary for each week and ensuring that each pupil has a fair distribution of work.
  • Looking at the income that each pupil has booked each month and will thereby ensure that all pupils are being allocated their fair share of work.

Any pupil who feels that he or she is not getting a fair proportion of work attributed to pupils should discuss the matter with their pupil supervisor and/or with the Pupillage Secretary.  In addition, the senior clerks are willing to discuss the distribution of work with a pupil should the pupil wish to discuss that matter with them.



Chambers recruits’ pupils with the intention of considering them for such tenancies as are available but reserves the right to advertise for tenants and to decline to offer any tenancy.  Selection for tenancies will be based entirely on their individual merit.   If, however, a pupil is not offered a tenancy the pupil may stay for a while in chambers at the invitation of the Head of Chambers on the condition that he/she pays the percentage contribution at the time in question due on any fees received.

Chambers’ decision concerning the taking on of a pupil as a tenant will usually be communicated to the pupil by the end of the third week of July. At the request of the pupil the pupil supervisor will consider providing a reference and otherwise assisting in helping pupils to obtain a third six pupillage in other Chambers or a tenancy elsewhere in respect of any pupils who have not been offered either a third six or a tenancy in these Chambers.  Pupils who remain in Chambers will receive guidance and assistance from Chambers with a view to promoting their continued progress.

11.       GRIEVANCES

If a pupil has any grievance concerning the conduct of his pupillage within Chambers, he or she shall have the right to discuss any problems with the Pupil Supervisor or Pupillage Secretary informally in the first instance.  If the pupil prefers, such a discussion may be had with the Equality and Diversity Officer and/or the Head of Chambers instead. If the matter has not been adequately resolved through such a discussion, or the pupil considers that the grievance is too serious to be dealt with informally, he or she should set out the grievance in writing to the Head of Chambers (or Equality and Diversity Officer.).

The procedure is set out in more detail in the Pupils & Tenants Grievance procedure.

Where the Head of Chambers considers that a pupil may be guilty of misconduct, he may invoke the procedure set out in the Disciplinary and Unfitness to Practise Procedure for Pupils and Tenants.


Responsibility for the management of pupillage falls to the Management Committee and the Pupillage Secretary.

The Pupillage Secretary:

  • Is responsible for collating all feedback  from pupil supervisors, for consideration during tenancy applications made by the pupils.
  • Is responsible for filing proper returns to the Bar Council.
  • Will organise meetings at least annually to discuss with members of Chambers engaged in the selection process and interviewing in what ways they think the system could be improved.
  • Will furnish an annual report to Chambers detailing the numbers of pupillage applications received, the numbers interviewed, the names of those persons selected for pupillage together with any policy reforms thought desirable arising out of the pupillage recruitment review.

Each year any new tenant taken on in Chambers who has undertaken a pupillage within Chambers shall be specifically asked by the Pupillage Secretary and / or Head of Chambers to comment on the quality of the pupillage system with a view to improving the quality of pupillage given within Chambers.


All pupils must register for VAT before the end of the first six months of their     pupillage.  For reasons connected with the chambers own VAT registration it is not possible for any pupil to use the VAT scheme known as the “flat rate” scheme.