This vacancy has now closed and is listed for reference only.

Cornerstone Barristers - 12 Months - October 2019

Chambers information
Name of chambers:
Cornerstone Barristers
Head of Chambers:
Philip Kolvin QC
Address of chambers:
Cornerstone Barristers, 2-3 Gray's Inn Square, London
Chambers website address:
Practice areas:
Planning; Housing and social welfare; Property; Civil; Community care and health; Court of protection; Environment; Immigration; Inquiries and inquests; Licensing; Local government; Public law; Regulatory
Specialist services:
South eastern
Number of junior tenancies (in the last three years):
Pupillage vacancy information
Number of pupillages:
Awards available:
Financial support level:
£50,000 - £59,999
Closing date:
7 February 2017 at 11:00 AM
Pupillage start date:
October 2018
Pupillage type:
12 month pupillage
Cornerstone Barristers is a leading set of barristers with particular expertise in the above practice areas.

We have a diverse client base and act for corporates, private individuals, the public sector and professionals. We offer direct access to approved professional bodies and the public from our chambers in Gray’s Inn as well as from our satellite offices in Birmingham and Cardiff. During 2016, our London chambers were extensively refurbished to provide the highest standard of facilities for clients, barristers and administration.

We currently have 52 members. Three of our members took silk in the latest application round, bringing our total complement to 15 QCs. Our barristers appear in the full range of courts and tribunals including the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. Eight of our junior tenants are on the Attorney General's panels, giving them access to a varied range of public law work.

We participate in a great deal of public interest litigation and our members have acted in matters as diverse as:

• The Hillsborough Inquests into the death of 96 football supporters in 1989, the largest inquests ever held in the UK
• The inquest touching the death of Mark Duggan, the shooting of whom fuelled the riots that started in Tottenham in 2011 and spread across London and other cities
• The Birmingham Six miscarriage of justice case
• The Omagh bombing

As a set, we advise many leading public interest groups including Friends of the Earth and UK Feminista. Our members lead or serve on a number of professional bodies. For instance, Head of Chambers Philip Kolvin QC is the Patron and former Chair of the Institute of Licensing and Chair or Mayor of London's Night Time Commission.

Members have authored many textbooks specialist to our practice areas. These include the prestigious Cornerstone on series, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing. More titles are in the pipeline and there will be many opportunities for successful candidates to contribute.

We pride ourselves in being a collegiate, diverse and interesting group of practitioners who are supported by first-class administration, marketing and clerking.

At Cornerstone Barristers, we recognise the vital role pupillage has in keeping our chambers at the forefront of the modern legal profession. We have seen how important it is to have fresh minds with new approaches progressing through the set. Pupillage is a challenging time but we promise to give you the support to ensure it is incredibly rewarding too.

How it works:
Cornerstone Barristers offers two pupillages each year via the Pupillage Gateway. Each pupillage lasts for 12 months and there is an award of £50,000 for the year (a £35,000 basic award and guaranteed minimum earnings of £15,000 in your second six months). We will endeavour to look sympathetically on requests to draw-down an amount from this award during the Bar Professional Training Course year.

Each pupil shares a room with their supervisor and works closely with them. We use the Bar Standards Board's checklists to make sure your training is comprehensive. We also organise advocacy training sessions so pupils can pit their skills against one another or a junior member in front of a 'judge'.

You will sit with at least three pupil supervisors during your year of pupillage, and together they will cover the core practice areas within chambers.

During pupillage you will have the opportunity to work alongside leading barristers in their field who will be instructed on important and complex litigation. During your first six months, you will regularly accompany members on trips to planning inquiries, the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, as well as all the lower courts and tribunals. In return, you are expected to work hard and produce excellent written work which will, in part, inform our tenancy selection process.

Prior to the start of your second six, your pupil supervisors will ensure that you spend time with the junior members of chambers, and accompany them to court in order to understand the work that they do and that you may be instructed to do in your second six when you are on your feet. In addition to your supervisors, the junior members of chambers will always be ready to talk you through any concerns that you have.

During your time with us your supervisors will prepare reports on your work. Members you have worked with will be asked for feedback, as will any instructing solicitors. The pupillage committee normally meets every two months to review each pupil’s progress and ensure they are on track. At their final meeting the pupillage committee will make a recommendation on a tenancy offer. A decision on that recommendation is determined by a majority of members voting at a full chambers meeting. That decision will be based not simply on the qualities of the individual applicant but also on whether there is a vacancy for a junior tenant at that time.

There is no getting away from the fact that a pupil's life is intense but all Cornerstone barristers, junior and senior, are committed to supporting you. There is a strong sense of cohesion among our members and a significant number of our most junior members have become tenants after successful periods of pupillage with us.

At the end of your pupillage, we continue to mentor and support you through our Early Years Programme . It applies for the first three years and is aimed to offer practice development programme for barristers who join us from pupillage. We allocate a mentor and provide additional support from the clerks for practice development. We offer everyone the opportunity to do work in all of chambers’ practice areas (subject to available work) and aim to ensure that all our barristers have an opportunity to be led by a senior member.

Application Questions

The following questions will form the Pupillage Application Questionnaire section of the application form for this pupillage vacancy. These are included here to allow you to prepare in advance.

  1. BC1 - Why do you wish to become a barrister? (200 words)
  2. BC4 - Why do you believe you will make a good barrister? In your answer, please identify any relevant experiences or skills that you believe may help you in your career. (200 words)
  3. BC5 - Please identify any experiences / skills gained that you believe may help you in your career. (200 words)
  4. BC2 - What areas of practice are you interested in and why? (200 words)
  5. BC3 - Give reasons for your choice of chambers. (200 words)
How to apply
To apply, please click on the Apply Online link below and then complete the online application form.