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

Outer Temple Chambers - 12 months - Sep 2020

Chambers information
Name of chambers:
Outer Temple Chambers
Head of Chambers:
Michael Bowes QC, Andrew Spink QC & Christopher Gibson QC
Address of chambers:
222 Strand, The Outer Temple, London
Chambers website address:
Main practice area:
Mixed (Common-Law)
Practice areas:
Civil; Clinical negligence; Public law; Commercial; Pensions; Trusts; Employment; Business; Fraud; Court of protection; Equality and discrimination; Environment; Health and safety; Personal injury; Professional negligence; Professional regulation; Financial services and regulation; Tax
Specialist services:
Mediation; Arbitration; Public access work
South eastern; Western
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:
September 2020
Pupillage type:
12 month pupillage
You will receive a structured, well-supported, challenging, broad and well remunerated, pupillage experience - Outer Temple Chambers ("OTC") is one of the leading civil commercial chambers in the country. We undertake a range of the highest quality work that few other London chambers can rival. In 2018 we have been ranked in nine practice areas by Chambers & Partners and in 14 areas by Legal 500. Our barristers practise across a range of areas focusing on Business law (ADR; Banking & Business; Commercial Fraud; Employment & Discrimination; Financial Services; Pensions; Public Law; Trusts; Taxation) and Healthcare law (Clinical Negligence; Court of Protection; Discipline & Regulation; Law in Sport; Safety, Health & Environment; Personal Injury; Professional Negligence; Specialist Crime). A number of our members have international dimensions to their practices. Members of Chambers have often been prepared to provide free legal advice, through charities such as the Bar Pro Bono Unit and the Free Representation Unit. We have had a long association with the Spinal Injuries Association. OTC was one of the first (and few) Chambers to become a Living Wage Employer. The Living Wage campaign has been running for ten years and has lifted over 10,000 people out of poverty. For further details on OTC’s social responsibility efforts, do see our website.

Awarded the Chambers Innovation Award by Legal Week in 2015, we became the first (and to date only) barristers’ chambers to be registered with the DIFC (Dubai, U.A.E.) and ADGM (Abu Dhabi, U.A.E) in 2016 and 2018 respectively. At the October 2017 Chambers UK Bar Awards we were awarded “Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Set of the Year” and barrister James Leonard won the “Health & Safety Junior of the Year” Award. In 2018, Outer Temple Chambers won the “Chambers of the Year” category at the STEP Private Client Awards, and achieved Investors in People Platinum accreditation, one of only two chambers to hold this standard. We are also proud to be a London Living Wage employer and Mindful employer, and to have received a Certificate of Recognition from the Bar Council for our efforts to promote individual wellbeing in Chambers. We positively encourage applications from groups who are currently under-represented in Chambers such as women, those from ethnic minorities, persons with a disability and others. We have no preference for an undergraduate law degree over the one-year GDL conversion course. We look for the best candidates whatever their background.

For September 2020, we are offering up to 3 pupillage places and we welcome applications from candidates of all backgrounds. We are a Disability Confident Employer. We were recently awarded Platinum in our most recent Investors in People (IIP) accreditation assessment, the highest possible level available, and we are now amongst the top 2% of organisations worldwide to hold this position. We’re forward-thinking, with a collaborative, collegiate ethos. We aim to be open, friendly, and approachable, treating everyone with tolerance and respect. We work hard to maintain high standards within Chambers and be responsive in the way we deal with our clients, staff and trainees. OTC has a detailed profile within the Chambers UK Student Guide, which can be found online at that publication's website.

The award for pupillages commencing Sep 2020 is £60,000 for the twelve months of pupillage. At Chambers’ discretion, up to 25% of each award is available for draw down during the BPTC year. You will have up to four supervisors across the year (rotating seats) and will be exposed to a range of areas of practice, with a review and an appraisal at the end of each quarter so that you know where you stand and further your personal development. You’ll have the opportunity to undertake Court and Tribunal work of your own during your second six. Training with each of the pupil supervisors is backed up by practical advocacy exercises (some of which are assessed) and you are encouraged to work for, and get to meet, other members of Chambers. Chambers will cover the cost of all compulsory pupillage courses undertaken; at its discretion it may also subsidise the cost of other pertinent non-mandatory training/events. Our commitment to developing and retaining pupils is evidenced by our high pupillage to tenancy conversion figure over the last 15 years, for 12 month pupillages, 31 out of 32 eligible candidates since 2003. We also offer a guaranteed earnings scheme for our junior tenants for the first two years after an offer of tenancy is accepted (i.e. an interest-free loan to top-up earnings each month to a set amount). Pupils are encouraged to help and support each other because they are considered for tenancy on merit, and are, therefore, not normally in competition for a fixed number of tenancies.

“Paradoxically, pupillage is at the same time one of the most desirable and most feared experiences known to Bar students. Happily, once it started I realised that nobody bites, nobody was waiting in ambush, there was no magnifying glass trained over my head throughout the 12 months. In fact, it's quite the opposite - Chambers actually wants you to succeed and will do everything to ensure that you do....”


Our pupillage shortlisting criteria are:

a. intellectual ability
b. potential as an advocate
c. motivation/drive/commitment
d. professional compatibility with Chambers

A 2:1 first degree or above is preferred.

Applications received through the Gateway undergo an initial assessment - candidates whose applications score sufficiently highly will then be invited to take a written test in their own time and the score achieved on this will determine whether a candidate will be invited to first round interview and assessment. Please note that our pupillage interview/assessment long weekend is currently scheduled for Friday 26th, Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th April 2019 (final interviews are held the Sunday) and you are strongly advised to keep all these dates free of non-pupillage-related engagements. We do not run interviews by video/Skype.

Transferring solicitors and other applicants in possession of exemptions (or likely to apply for such) from the BSB (and applying for pupillage to start in 2020) should read the information provided on our website pupillage webpages, as a non-Gateway application timetable applies in certain circumstances, with an initial deadline of 14 December 2018.

Feedback on our application and selection process is usually very positive, as the following comments received from three Gateway applicants in a previous round testifies:

a) “Would just like to say I've been through 12 of these interview processes and OTC's struck me as the most transparent / informative/ considerate throughout. Was very impressed!” (candidate)

b) “I just wanted to reiterate my thanks and appreciation of how you and Chambers have organised this process. It tells a very impressive story about how Outer Temple sees itself and runs itself - one wholly consonant with its reputation. This is a tough production line for everyone concerned, and you've made it markedly less hasslesome and stressful than it might otherwise be.” (candidate)

c) “I just wanted to thank you and Outer Temple for the lengths you went to accommodate me and make me feel welcome. I was offered pupillage today so shall not be making another attempt with Outer Temple. However, I just wanted to let you know what a fantastic job you do to further diversity at the bar” (candidate).

Mini-pupillages: Chambers also offers two mini-pupillage courses each year in June and December - we take up to 8-10 candidates at a time for a week of court visits, seminars and case research to provide an insight into life at the Bar. Further details, and application deadlines, are available on our website.

OTC/FRU Extended Pupillage: in 2013 Outer Temple Chambers (OTC) and the Free Representation Unit (FRU) announced a new 18 month Extended Pupillage scheme comprising 6 months’ work at FRU followed by a formal 1st six months pupillage at Chambers, and then a practising 2nd six months pupillage doing OTC and FRU casework. We have run this Extended pupillage scheme in alternate years and the most recent pupil under the scheme commenced in Sep 2018. The next competition is anticipated to open in June/July 2019 (for one pupillage, starting late September 2019). Applications are processed directly through Chambers rather than via the Pupillage Gateway. Details will appear on our website, the FRU’s website, and our social media, nearer the opening date in summer 2019.
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. Why do you wish to become a barrister? (200 words)
  2. 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. Why do you want to join our chambers? In your answer, please give reasons for your choice of chambers. (200 words)
  4. What areas of practice are you interested in and why? (200 words)
  5. In up to 150 words, persuade us of a point of view on a subject of your choice, serious or otherwise. Please note, you need not hold the view yourself. (150 words)
How to apply
To apply, please click on the Apply Online link below and then complete the online application form. Please ensure you have read our Pupillage Prospectus (available within the careers pages of our website by mid/late December 2018) BEFORE you submit any application via the Gateway. This is particularly important if you are an applicant with a disability. Transferring solicitors and other applicants in possession of exemptions (or likely to apply for such) from the BSB (and applying for pupillage to start in 2020) should read the information provided on our website's pupillage pages, as a non-Gateway application timetable applies in certain circumstances, with an initial deadline of 14 December 2018.

Please note that our pupillage interviewing & assessment long weekend is currently scheduled for Friday 26th, Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th April 2019 (final round interviews are conducted on the Sunday) and you are strongly advised to keep all these dates free of non-pupillage-related engagements.
We do not run interviews by video/Skype.