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Pupillage Recruitment For 2022

9 King's Bench Walk is offering three funded criminal pupillages commencing in October 2022.

Although we are predominantly a criminal set, we also have many experienced practitioners in Regulatory and Immigration Law, who will be able to advise and guide pupils who wish to broaden their areas of specialisation. 

We intend to recruit those pupils who we think have what it takes to become 9KBW tenants and we provide a wide and inclusive experience with that aim firmly in mind. 

9 KBW will offer applicants the opportunity to gain wide experience of life at the Bar generally and to develop skills that will enable them to develop a first class practice in not only their preferred areas of law but also in others that they may not previously have considered. 

Hard work, commitment and dedication are what we expect and are what we will reward Candidates should be willing to work hard, show a commitment to criminal law, be prepared to consider other specialisms, have a passion and flair for advocacy as well as good interpersonal skills, and be articulate, persuasive and clear. We do not discriminate between those with law degrees and those with non-law degrees, and encourage applications from those who are coming to the Bar at a later stage in their careers. We also welcome pupillage applications from transferring solicitors, or qualified legal practitioners (including those from other relevant jurisdictions). 

While we have no absolute requirement as to class of degree, a high standard (generally no less than a 2:1) is usually expected unless there are mitigating circumstances. Should that be the case those circumstances should be set out in your application form.

 In your second six you will be kept very busy in court, doing cases for both the defence and the prosecution, in the Magistrates' Courts every day, as well as gaining extensive experience in Crown Court hearings. There will also be opportunities to undertake Regulatory work and to observe those practising in Immigration.

The criteria for selection for Pupillage is whether the candidate has demonstrated the necessary skills and commitment be a Pupil at 9KBW.

Chambers will have regard to the candidate’s abilities and performance during the application process, including two interviews, an advocacy and a written exercise in line with the criteria as follows:

•  Oral Communication and Advocacy Skills.

•  Written Communication skills

•  Interpersonal skills

•  Commitment to a career at the Bar

•  Academic achievement

•  Non-academic skills and achievements 

Chambers selection procedure for Pupils is as follows:

•  On receipt of all written applications for Pupillage Chambers Managing Consultant will forward each to admin support for acknowledgment and attachment of an Equality and Diversity Data Monitoring form 

•  Chambers Managing Consultant selects three or four teams comprised of members of the Tenancy and Pupillage Committee (the number is dependent upon the number of applications received) and forwards applications to each team.

•  Each team selects up to eight candidates from their batch of applicants who meet Chambers selection criteria. More may be selected if applications are of an exceptionally high standard

•  Those candidates selected are invited for interview by admin support.

•  At interview, (or via Zoom if candidates are interviewed remotely) each candidate is given or sent a copy of an advocacy exercise and given 10 minutes to prepare.

•  On completion of the advocacy exercise each candidate is given up to 30 minutes of questions from the panel, one of which is law based.

•  Following completion of all first round interviews up to 12 candidates will be invited for second round interviews (the panel have discretion to invite more)

•  Second round interview candidates will be sent a written exercise with a deadline for completion of at least two days prior to the second round interviews.

•  On return of the completed written exercise from the candidates, the selection teams will score the written work in accordance with an agreed criteria and scoring system.

•  At the second round interviews, candidates will be questioned on the merits and skill of their written application followed by a round of general questions.

•  On the day of the interview and not more than 10 minutes prior to the start of the interview the candidates are given a topic upon which they will be asked to advocate for a period of two minutes.

•  The Pupillage Committee will determine which candidates most clearly meet the criteria and standards for a 9KBW pupillage and make offers to the top three candidates accordingly.

•  Should any candidate not accept Chambers offer, offers will then be made to the candidates who were placed behind them in terms of meeting the criteria. 

•  The Pupillage Committee will make Pupillage offers via e mail and in strict accordance with the Gateway Timetable.

•  Chambers will keep written records of each step set out above

•  Chambers will ask Candidates to complete Equality and Diversity monitoring forms for review by Chambers.

•  A 9KBW Pupillage comprises two periods of 6 months, but pupils will rotate to “seats” with alternative Supervisors every three months to give them the widest possible experience of different types of work and advocacy styles.

Each Pupil will be expected to participate fully in the work of his or her Pupil Supervisor. In addition, Chambers organises written exercises and advocacy training.

During their first six pupillage pupils will; 

•  Attend and observe proceedings at the Crown Court and Magistrates’ Courts, as well as the Court of Appeal.

•  They will attend Immigration and Regulatory Tribunals.

•  A pupil will observe complete proceedings in all types of hearing in each of those courts.

•  A pupil will be expected to learn how to prepare a brief, both in relation to pre-hearing work such as, but not necessarily limited to, drafting indictments, defence case statements, opening notes, grounds of appeal and skeleton arguments and preparation for the hearing itself, such as preparing examinations in chief, cross examinations, speeches and any legal submissions.

•  Undertaking legal research (including tasks within areas of law and practice never previously encountered by the pupil).

•  Introduction to solicitors, CPS representatives (both law clerks and lawyers), other members of the Bar, and wherever possible members of the judiciary.

•  Further advocacy training in the conduct of small applications will be given by members of Chambers (not limited to the pupil supervisors) at various stages during the first and second six months

We actively encourage our pupils to apply for both Crown Prosecution and Regulatory Panels, as soon as the necessary level of experience has been achieved, and we provide experienced and specialised advice when doing so. All of our pupils to date have been successful in their applications to these panels.

Chambers has several qualified pupil supervisors and successful applicants will be able to assist and observe Counsel involved in the most serious and complex cases, as well as receiving expert training in advocacy and advisory work. 

The pupillage award is £18,960 minimum funding for 12 months currently but may be increased in line with any BSB requirement for guaranteed funding). 

During the first six months pupils will receive a non-refundable grant of £9480 payable monthly.. During the second six months pupils will also receive the £9480 guaranteed income payable monthly, but this will be either partially or fully refundable from fees received during the second six months of pupillage This is calculated on a month by month basis so that fees received will only be recoverable against the award in the month in which they are received.. A contribution towards Chambers expenses is payable on fees received over and above the award level. This stands at 12% of fees received, exclusive of VAT and expenses. We anticipate that all pupils can expect to earn considerably more than the minimum funding during their second six.

Chambers will pay the cost of travel expenses during the non-practising 6 months for zones 1-6.and Chambers will also meet travel expenses where pupils in their first six accompany their Pupil Supervisors to courts or venues outside of the specified travel zones. Where requested, travel expenses can be paid in advance. Chambers will also meet the costs of any mandatory training, 

As we realise that there can be a number of personal expenses that those new to the Bar must pay for as they start out, we offer a loan to pupils, prior to their start date, to allow for the purchase of an item of essential equipment such as court dress, IT equipment, a mobile phone, lockable case, or essential security software.

Chambers pupils are encouraged to apply for and are supported in applications for additional funding from other supportive bodies. In earlier years our pupils have applied, with letters of reference from Chambers and were successful in obtaining funding.

Before commencement of pupillage, pupils are provided with a comprehensive Welcome Pack in which they will find copies of the Pupillage Policy and Agreement, our Pupillage Handbook, containing details of all documents that need to be exchanged or signed,, copies of Chambers Constitution, a record sheet for personal details and copies of a number of Chambers Policies including Credential Checking, Absence from Training and several policies relating to Equality and Diversity matters, Health and Safety, Remote Working and Grievance and Discipline Procedures.

During their first and second six, pupils are given the opportunity to participate in our well established OIC Roadshow, which delivers training to police officers in London and the South East. We also present mock trials to junior police officers and all of our pupils and junior tenants are encouraged to take part in these trials.

Until the lockdown in early 2020, we often provided officer training in court rooms in and around London and with the support and participation of sitting judges at those courts. Despite the pandemic, we continued to provide this training to officers through remote means and it remains a source of great interest to police officers and other agencies.. 

During 2022 we intend to resume our successful programme of the OIC Roadshow as well as seminars covering all aspects of law and procedure. We are currently building a programme for these seminars, to be rolled out during 2022, providing instructing solicitors with up to date training on the most current and topical law, as well as in house training specifically tailored to individual areas of specialisation. Our pupils are always invited to assist with this side of Chambers activities as it provides excellent training and an opportunity to meet solicitors and prosecution lawyers in the CPS as well as Regulatory Departments. 

Our experienced team in Chambers are all pleased to help with in house advocacy training for our pupils, as we see this as an important part of not only their professional training, but as a way of additional support and inclusion in the life of Chambers. 

We view all of our pupils as part of a long term investment in the future life of the Bar and of Chambers itself. With this in mind we strive at all times to provide the most wide ranging and inciteful experience that we can, in order to drive their knowledge and enthusiasm and to bring out the best in each of them.

Chambers Policy is to offer Tenancies to all Pupils who are determined by a meeting of Chambers Tenancy and Pupillage Committee to have met the Selection Criterion for Tenancy following Pupillage. There is no competition between pupils and there will be three Tenancy places available to those pupils who satisfy the selection process.

The selection process is as follows;

•  The Tenancy Committee will collect and assess all reports from Pupil Supervisors, Chambers Managing Consultant, Chambers Senior Clerk and any members who may have worked with the pupil concerned throughout the 12 month period.

•  They will be given any feedback from Instructing Solicitors, members of the Bar The Judiciary and any sources where the information may be of assistance

•  Applications will be decided upon by way of a majority vote.

•  Pupils applying for Tenancy will be asked to make a formal application by way of CV and a covering letter, setting out their experience to date and why they wish to apply for Tenancy.

•  Applications should be made during the final month of the second six, unless the Supervisor recommends a different time frame.

•  Applicants will be interviewed by at least four members of the Tenancy and Pupillage Committee at the end of their twelve months. Any members not present shall be provided with all written reports and consulted before a final decision is made. 

•  Generally any interview will be conducted in Chambers. However, this may take place remotely if circumstances require it, or to facilitate caring responsibilities or any reasonable adjustment required by a pupil regarding travelling or accessing chambers premises.

•  The interview will include an advocacy exercise and may, if the Committee request it, require the pupil to complete a written exercise prior to the interview, which will be assessed in advance by the interview panel..

•  On occasions, following a pupil’s application for Tenancy, the Pupillage and Tenancy Committee will consider offering a pupil a “Probationary Tenancy” rather than immediate Tenancy, for a period of up to six months. This will not be considered where the pupil has failed to meet the competencies set out in the Professional Statement as that would require consideration of an extension to the 12 months pupillage or the termination of the pupillage at the 12 month stage.

A Probationary Tenancy will only be considered in certain circumstances where the competencies have been met, but where, for example, the Committee takes the view that the Pupil has not had sufficient opportunity to observe or experience some of the work in the areas of law in which Chambers specialises or perhaps requires further opportunity to join a panel, such as the CPS Advocates Panel, before committing to Tenancy.

In those circumstances, the Committee are likely to offer a period of three months Probationary Tenancy initially, following which an application for full tenancy will be reconsidered by the Committee. This will not require a new application from those who have undertaken pupillage with Chambers but updated reports will be provided by the Supervisor and Senior Clerk.

Chambers is currently undertaking the process of applying to become an Authorised Education and Training organisation. The process will ensure that we offer the highest standards of training and opportunity to those we give pupillage to and we expect high standards in return. At the same time, we are an inclusive, friendly supportive set where we endeavour at all times to make our pupils feel valued and part of the 9 KBW Team.

Chambers has a robust Equality and Diversity Policy, combined with supportive and clear policies on Fair Recruitment, Dignity at Work, Anti-Harassment and Fair Work Allocation. Details of many of our Policies can be found under our Equality and Diversity page and copies obtained on request from Christine Eadie.

A copy of our Pupillage Policy can be obtained by clicking the link HERE 

9 King’s Bench Walk will not discriminate against any pupil, probationary tenant, or any applicant for pupillage, for a probationary tenancy or for tenancy, on the grounds of race, sex, gender reassignment, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, age or political persuasion. At 9KBW we select candidates strictly according to demonstrated merit. 

If applicants require any form of Reasonable Adjustments, such as remote interviewing, please contact Christine Eadie on christine@9kbw.com.

How to Apply

Applicants should apply by clicking the link to the application form HERE

Click on File, top left hand corner then download for completion.

Send the completed form to christine@9kbw.com. Applications must be made in strict accordance with the Gateway Timetable

Equality and Diversity Data Monitoring 

We would be grateful if each applicant would complete and Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form. This allows us to review our data annually and to ensure that Chambers meets its statutory duty under the Equality Act 2010 as well as assisting us in developing our Equality Action Plan and Recruitment Policy for the future.

Please click HERE to download the form and send the completed version to our Equality and Diversity Data Officer tom.aitken@9kbw.co.uk