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

Cornerstone Barristers - 12 Months - October 2020

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; Public law; Property; Civil; Community care and health; Costs; Licensing; Information technology; Local government; 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:
£60,000 - £100,000
Closing date:
11 February 2019 at 11:00 AM
Pupillage start date:
5 October 2020
Pupillage type:
12 month pupillage
Cornerstone Barristers is a leading chambers with particular expertise in the above practice areas.

We have a diverse client base and act for corporates, the government and local authorities, professionals and private individuals. We work mainly from our chambers in Gray’s Inn in London and have satellite offices in Birmingham and Cardiff. Our attractive premises provide the highest standard of facilities for clients, barristers and administration.

We currently have 57 barrister members including 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.

Our members are regularly involved in ground breaking and high profile cases across our areas of practice. We also participate in a great deal of public interest litigation. Our members have acted in cases concerning matters as diverse as HS2, fracking, Uber, Fabric nightclub, nationally important planning developments and public law challenges.

As a set, we advise the government at all levels as well as many leading public interest groups including Friends of the Earth and UK Feminista. Our members also lead or serve on the boards number of a number of organisations, industry groups and professional bodies.

Members have authored many specialist legal books relevant 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 friendly, 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 understand how important it is to have fresh minds with new approaches progressing through the set. Pupillage is a challenging time and the standards we expect of our pupils are high, but we promise to give pupils the support to ensure their experience is incredibly rewarding.

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 £60,000 for the year (a £40,000 basic award and guaranteed minimum earnings of £20,000 in your second six months). We will 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 and from 2019, we will be delivering training in accordance with the newly proposed regulatory changes as an Authorised Education and Training Organisation (AETO). 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 are likely to 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 and our clerking team. The pupillage committee normally meets regularly 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.

At the end of your pupillage, we continue to mentor and support you through our Junior Development Programme. It applies for the first eight years and is aimed to offer a practice development programme for barristers who join us from pupillage. We also allocate a mentor and provide additional support from the clerks for practice development. We offer everyone the opportunity to develop 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. Please give an example of a time when you found working with others challenging and how you were able to overcome such challenges? (300 words)
  2. Why do you think you have the intellectual ability to be a barrister at Cornerstone? (300 words)
  3. What does it mean to have integrity as a barrister? (300 words)
  4. Can you explain a time when you had to demonstrate resilience? (300 words)
  5. What particular areas of work that Cornerstone undertakes interest you and why? (300 words)
  6. Can you give us an example of how you were able to persuade someone to adopt a different point of view? (300 words)
  7. What would constitute a successful career at Cornerstone Barristers for you? (300 words)
How to apply
To apply, please click on the Apply Online link below and then complete the online application form.