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

Wilberforce Chambers London – 12 months - October 2021

Chambers information
Name of chambers:
Wilberforce Chambers, London
Head of Chambers:
Michael Furness QC
Address of chambers:
8 New Square
Lincoln's Inn
Chambers email:
Chambers website address:
Main practice area:
Commercial and Chancery
Practice areas:
Arbitration; Banking and Financial Services; Business; Chancery; Civil Fraud; Company; Commercial; Information Technology; Insolvency and Restructuring; Media and Entertainment; Pensions; Property; Professional Liability; Regulatory; Trusts; Tax
Specialist services:
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:
7 February 2020 at 11:00 AM
Pupillage start date:
27 September 2021
Pupillage type:
12 month pupillage
We look to offer up to three 12-month pupillages each year to pupils with high intellectual ability, good communication skills and an interest in Commercial Chancery work, who are mature and confident, have the ability to work with others and who can analyse legal problems well, demonstrating good practical and commercial sense. We have a minimum requirement of a 2:1 degree in law or another subject.

We are committed to promoting and achieving equality and diversity in Chambers, so we want to receive applications from anyone who has the qualities and skills we are looking for, no matter what university they have attended, no matter what age, race, gender or sexual orientation. Our pupillage application process is name, gender, school and university “blind” and we have joined the online pupillage application scheme, the Pupillage Gateway, as we consider the process to be beneficial to pupillage candidates and we believe it will help to improve diversity.

We offer up to three pupillages with a view to taking on pupils as tenants at the end of their time with us, so we take great care in our selection process to identify candidates who have real potential to join Chambers at the end of their pupillage. Importantly, our pupils are not in competition with one another for a tenancy, but are assessed solely on their own abilities and performance. We assess pupils for their suitability as tenants throughout their time in Chambers by means of a process of continual assessment, rather than by a separate, formal assessment procedure at the end of pupillage.

We pay for our pupils to attend the compulsory courses which they are required by the Bar Council to undertake.

What can I expect from a pupillage at Wilberforce?

- a well-structured pupillage
- to sit with at least four different pupil supervisors during their 12 months with us
- to share the daily professional life of their pupil supervisor
- to produce pleadings and opinions in their pupil supervisor’s cases
- to attend conferences with their pupil supervisor, the solicitor and the lay client
- to attend Court with their pupil supervisor and other members of Chambers
- to receive regular feedback on their work from their pupil supervisor
- to have their work-load monitored by their pupil supervisor
- to have an opportunity to work with a variety of junior tenants and silks
- to get to know our clerks and begin to learn what skills and approaches will assist in building a successful practice
- to have an opportunity to contribute to life in Chambers

We regard the recruitment of exceptional pupils and junior tenants as crucial to our continuing success: for every pupillage we offer, there is a tenancy available.

We aim to reach a decision about tenancy after approximately 9-10 months of pupillage. All pupils, whether or not they are offered a tenancy, are entitled to remain with us for the remainder of their pupillage on a full pupillage award. We make every effort to assist those who are not offered tenancy to find pupillage and eventually tenancy elsewhere. Any money earned by pupils during their second 6 months will be in addition to the pupillage award and expense-free.

What is the application/selection process?

Applications for pupillage must be made through the Pupillage Gateway.

Following consideration of your pupillage application Chambers may invite you to attend a long-list interview. This will be an interview with two members of Chambers involving discussion of a problem question. You may then be asked back for a short-list interview which includes a more in-depth examination and analysis of a legal problem with up to four members of Chambers.

We have a strong record of recruiting from GDL students – we take care to ensure that our interview process does not disadvantage those who have only recently commenced their legal studies.

What award is offered?

We offer a generous pupillage award. This is reviewed annually and is intended to be in line with the highest awards available. The award for a 12-month pupillage commencing in October 2020 will be £65,000 and will be paid monthly. A proportion of the pupillage award (currently up to £20,000) can be drawn down during the BPTC year.

Please note: All our interviews are carried out in person and we are unable to accommodate requests for an interview by Skype or video-link.

Equal opportunities.

We are committed to the promotion of equality and diversity across all aspects of our practice.

Equality of opportunity is essential for the maintenance of high standards and the provision of a quality service to clients. It also ensures a harmonious working environment for members of Chambers and staff.

In particular we adopt best practice equality and diversity procedures in our pupillage recruitment which involves the use of application forms, a two-tier interview process and the use of objective selection criteria in accordance with the recommendations of the Equality and Diversity Rules of the Code of Conduct.

Applicants with a disability are encouraged to contact the Secretary to the Pupillage Committee, in confidence if there are any reasonable adjustments that may be made in relation to their applications.

Pupillage contact details

If you need further assistance, please call and ask for the Pupillage Secretary in confidence on 020 7306 0102 or email us on

Applications for pupillage must be made through the Pupillage Gateway, the online pupillage application scheme, except where an applicant is exempt under the applicable rules. Visit for full details of how the Gateway operates and to find our application form.

*Important notice* Please note that we are aware of the duplication of the advert questions and are happy for applicants to either not respond to questions two and five, or to include information within these answers that have been included within other responses. Should you have submitted your application before this note was published, please rest assured that you will not be penalised for duplicating information.

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 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)
  2. BC2: Why do you want to join our chambers? In your answer, please give reasons for your choice of chambers and explain why you are interested in our areas of practice (200 words)
  3. Please give details of your communication skills (both written and oral, including any experience of advocacy, debating, mooting or other public speaking). (250 words)
  4. Which areas of the Bar are you interested in and why? (200 words)
  5. What qualities do you feel you have to make a successful career at the Bar? (200 words)
  6. Why are you applying to Wilberforce Chambers? In your answer, please state if you have applied for pupillage at Wilberforce in previous years and, if yes, when. (200 words)
  7. Please provide any personal interests and achievements. (100 words)
How to apply
To apply, please click on the Apply Online link below and then complete the online application form.