Government Legal Department - 12 months - September 2022

Chambers information
Name of chambers:
Government Legal Department and HM Revenue & Customs
Head of Chambers:
Address of chambers:
Government Legal Department HQ
1 Kemble Street
Chambers email:
Chambers website address:
Main practice area:
Public Law
Practice areas:
Business; Education; Environment; Equality and Discrimination; Healthcare; Human Rights; Immigration; Tax; Commercial; Employment; Public Law; Employed Bar
Specialist services:
Number of junior tenancies (in the last three years):
Pupillage vacancy information
Number of pupillages:
Awards available:
Financial support level:
£20,000 - £29,999
Closing date:
22 July 2020 at 11:55 PM
Pupillage start date:
September 2022
Pupillage type:
12 month pupillage
Government lawyers provide a range of legal services to a number of government organisations, including central Whitehall departments. They undertake interesting and high quality legal work and have the opportunity to move around and work in different areas of law and practice throughout their careers. For those who choose to specialise in a particular area of law or practice, there are opportunities to do so. The benefits of working as a lawyer within government include a good work life balance; flexible-working opportunities; an attractive pension scheme; and access to high quality training programmes. The Government Legal Profession (GLP) supports the aim of the wider Civil Service to be the UK’s most inclusive employer. This means providing a great place to work for all.

The legal work is intellectually challenging, varied and often unique. The opportunity to be involved in creating and implementing new legislation is simply not available elsewhere. Our litigation lawyers represent the government in the highest courts – with more cases at the Supreme Court each year than any other organisation. The outcome of cases can have wide implications for government policy and even raise questions of constitutional importance.

Constitutional issues. Consumer Protection. EU matters. Complex Commercial and Public Procurements. Cyber Crime. Education. Health and Social Care. Immigration. Managing and Collecting Tax. Modern Slavery. National Security. Trade. Transport. Welfare Reform. The diversity of the work reflects the wide range of activities within government. These range across issues of national and international significance and across public and private law, embracing advisory and legislative work, litigation and a wealth of specialist areas (eg commercial and employment).

Legal teams are based in London and around the country, with regional offices, for example, in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, and Manchester.

The GLP’s annual Legal Trainee Scheme offers you the chance to conduct your pupillage in a government department - typically the Government Legal Department (GLD) or HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The majority of trainee positions are based in London. However, GLD may offer a small number of positions (previously for trainee solicitors only) in Leeds. There may also be a possibility for trainees recruited to HMRC to undertake one or more ‘seats’ in Manchester.

Whichever department you join, the training period will last 2 years in total. During the pupillage period (first 12 months) your time will be split between the department and a set of external barristers’ chambers. You’ll be involved in the wide range of work in which your department and chambers are involved. Whilst government departments use the services of external counsel for a significant amount of their complex court work, there is the opportunity to conduct cases in tribunals or courts.

Whilst the majority of the trainee positions are for those looking to start their training in September 2022, a small number of positions may be available for those looking to start sooner (eg in Sept 2020 or 2021). Factors such as schools attended, A levels obtained, university and degree subject do not form part of the selection process. Online ability tests and a half-day assessment centre have typically been used to assess the essential skills and behaviours required for the role. Please check the website for further details when the application process opens.

Sponsorship: Generally, departments will pay your Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) fees where you have not started the course. You may also be eligible for a grant of about £5,400 (National) to £7,600 (London) for the vocational year if you intend to study for the BPTC on a full-time, or part-time, basis. You’ll need to discuss your eligibility for a grant with the relevant department at the offer stage.

Salaries: Salaries can differ in terms of departments and location. First year salaries are currently around £28,000. Second year salaries are currently around £32,000. Note salaries and terms and conditions are kept under review and are subject to change.

Arrangements on qualification: Departments aim to offer a permanent qualified lawyer position on successful completion of the two year training period, although this can never be guaranteed.

How to apply
The application process is expected to open during the summer 2020.

To be notified as soon as the application process is open (and to be notified of any open days etc which may be arranged in the interim), please add your contact details to our mailing list, which is available on the Government Legal Profession’s website: