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Cornerstone Barristers - 12 Months - October 2022

AETO information
Name of AETO:
Cornerstone Barristers
Head of AETO:
Philip Coppel QC and Tom Cosgrove QC
Address of AETO:
Cornerstone Barristers, 2-3 Gray's Inn Square
AETO's 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:
Financial support level:
£60,000 - £100,000
Closing date:
8 February 2021 at 11:00 AM
Pupillage start date:
October 2022
Pupillage type:
12 month pupillage
Cornerstone Barristers is a leading chambers with particular expertise in the following practice areas:

• Public Law and Judicial Review
• Planning and Environment
• Housing
• Licensing
• Information Law
• Property
• Commercial and Regulatory
• Inquests and Inquiries
• Court of Protection
• Health and Social Care
• Local Government

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 58 barrister members including 12 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 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.

Chambers is strongly committed to equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion. We welcome applications through the Pupillage Gateway from everyone and would particularly encourage candidates to apply from backgrounds that have not traditionally been represented at the Bar.

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.

Pupils are allocated to a supervisors and usually have an opportunity to meet their supervisors before the start of pupillage. Each pupil shares a room with their supervisor and works closely with them. We train pupil barristers so as to ensure each has the knowledge, skills and attributes expected of barristers as set out in the Bar Standards Board’s Professional Statement for Barristers. We also organise advocacy training sessions so pupils can put 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.

Pupils are automatically considered for tenancy at the conclusion of their pupillage. 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.
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. (250 words)
  2. Please give an example of a time when you had to demonstrate resilience. (250 words)
  3. What particular areas of work that Cornerstone undertakes interest you and why? (250 words)
  4. What would constitute a successful career at Cornerstone Barristers for you? (250 words)
  5. Please give an example of how you were able to persuade someone to adopt a different point of view. (250 words)
How to apply
To apply, please click on the Apply Online link below and then complete the online application form.