Darren Burrows

Darren Burrows

Senior Clerk
+44 (0)20 7520 4611
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Jackie Ginty

Jackie Ginty

First Deputy Senior Clerk
+44 (0)20 7520 4608
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Rob Smith

Rob Smith

Deputy Senior Clerk
+44 (0)20 7520 4612
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Pupillage at One Essex Court

"I applied to One Essex Court because I wanted to engage with the law on a detailed, practical level. I knew that working on the high stakes commercial litigation which forms the bulk of One Essex Court’s work would allow me, not only to research and apply the law, but also to play a central role in shaping and developing it." - Joe Johnson, Junior Tenant

Our aim is to recruit excellent pupils and help them to become successful and happy members of Chambers. Our primary aim is to teach and to help our pupils to thrive. Although there is by necessity an element of assessment, there is no competition between our pupils. Each pupil will have a different learning curve and we support each one through pupillage to prepare them for their career ahead. All pupils who meet the standard will be offered tenancy.

  • Format of pupillage

    Pupillage at One Essex Court by Veena Srirangam


    Pupils sit with three supervisors, spending two periods of three months with their first two supervisors, and the next six months with their third supervisor.

    Pupil supervisors are generally senior junior barristers and only have one pupil at a time. Pupils work in their supervisor’s room.

    From the beginning, pupils are fully integrated into the life of Chambers and attend all Chambers’ social and client events. Regular events include monthly drinks and Christmas and summer parties.

  • Work during pupillage

    • Work for pupil supervisors: The majority of a pupil’s time is spent assisting their pupil supervisor on their current cases. This may involve doing first drafts of opinions, pleadings and skeleton arguments, legal research tasks and accompanying their supervisor to Court and conferences.
      Assisting on live cases from the outset is challenging but rewarding. The learning curve can be steep; however, many of our pupils find that, at least by their second seat, they can offer meaningful assistance to their pupil supervisor. Often, they are treated akin to a junior on the case and many of our pupils take cases through from pupillage into tenancy.
    • Work for other members: One Essex Court ensures that pupils also work for a variety of other members of chambers, from juniors to senior silks. This exposes pupils to a range of working styles and allows pupils become better known in Chambers, easing the transition from pupillage to tenancy.
    • Own work and advocacy: During the second six months, pupils take on their own cases as well as continuing to work with their supervisors. The clerks make considerable efforts to ensure that pupils gain court experience. This typically involves applications and small trials in the County Court as well as the occasional appearance in the High Court and other tribunals. Recent advocacy opportunities have included road traffic offences, driving licence revocation, commercial disputes, contractual debt claims, banking and financial services, employment, tax and regulatory disputes amongst others.

    Over the course of pupillage, we ensure that pupils acquire all of the competences expected of barristers at the Commercial Bar, as listed in the BSB’s Professional Statement.

  • Education and training

    Pupils learn primarily from their work for and with their supervisors. Pupils observe how their supervisors conduct conferences and court hearings, review their supervisors’ written work, and discuss with their supervisors the different issues which arise in practice. One Essex Court places great importance on regular and detailed feedback from supervisors, focused on helping pupils gain all the knowledge, skills and attributes of a successful barrister.

    In addition, Chambers offers a lunchtime seminar series to its pupils and most junior tenants. This includes sessions on Chambers’ core areas, procedure and practical tips. The seminars are provided by members of all levels, including retired senior judges and KCs.

    Topics in this year’s series include interim injunctions, statements of case, introductions to specialist areas of law (e.g. banking law and FSMA), advocacy training and ethics.

  • Mentoring

    All pupils are paired with a mentor, who is a junior member of chambers (around 5-10 years’ call). The mentor provides consistent, non-judgmental support to their mentee, helps their mentee adjust to life in Chambers and assist them with any concerns that may come up during pupillage.

    The mentoring relationship is confidential and the mentor takes a neutral stance in the tenancy decision process regarding their mentee.

  • Funding

    Pupillage Award

    Chambers offers each pupil £80,000, supplemented by earnings in the second six. This is amongst the highest remuneration packages available to pupils.

    Under the current arrangements agreed between the Bar Council and HMRC, pupillage awards are tax-free in respect of the first six months, but taxable in respect of the second six months. Accordingly, the award scheme is in two parts.

    • First six: In respect of the first six months there is a scholarship of £53,333. Of this, up to £26,666 may be advanced, on request, during a prospective pupil's Bar Practice Course (“BPC”) year. The scholarship, less any amount advanced during the BPC year, is paid in six equal monthly instalments. Sums advanced are repayable if a pupil fails to complete the first six months of his or her pupillage.
    • Second six: In respect of the second six months, there is an award of £26,667, paid in the same way. Pupils also retain any amounts earned for small advocacy or other work done in their own right during their second six. The primary purpose of this work is to gain experience; however, in recent years, pupils have often earned in excess of £10,000 (and sometimes substantially more) in respect of such work.

      Inn Scholarships

      Applicants should also be aware that each Inn offers substantial scholarships to assist prospective barristers in funding their BPC year (and, where applicable, study towards the PGDL). Application for these scholarships is made to the Inns. In the past, many students who subsequently became pupils in Chambers had been awarded scholarships by their Inns.

      Additional support

      Chambers will pay the fees for all compulsory courses offered through the Bar Council or the Inns and will usually look favourably on applications for support for other courses, e.g., advanced advocacy courses.

    • Reasonable adjustments and equal opportunities

      Chambers is committed to equal opportunities and is happy to make reasonable adjustments for pupils. You can see our reasonable adjustments policy here. If you have any particular questions, please contact the Secretary to the Pupillage Committee here.

      Questions about reasonable adjustments for pupils from potential pupillage applicants are dealt with by the Chair of the Equality and Diversity Committee, and are kept confidential from the Pupillage Committee and the pupillage application process generally.