Search & Apply

Outer Temple Chambers - 12 months September 2022

AETO information
Name of AETO:
Outer Temple Chambers
Head of AETO:
James Counsell QC, Andrew Spink QC & Sarah Crowther QC
Address of AETO:
222 Strand, The Outer Temple, London
AETO's 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; Health and Safety; Personal Injury; Professional Negligence; Professional Regulation; Financial Services and Regulation; Tax
Specialist services:
Mediation; Arbitration; Public Access Work; Alternative Dispute Resolution (mediation and arbitration); Arbitration and Mediation; International and Domestic Adjudication; Litigation; Pro Bono; Adjudication; International Arbitration; CLIPS; Licensed Access
South eastern; Western
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:
September 2022
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.

With 26 Silks and over 60 juniors, we are regularly involved in ground-breaking cases at the highest levels and we are proud of our reputation as a forward-thinking set with wide expertise and high standards of client service and accessibility. Our London offices are located just opposite the Royal Courts of Justice and we also have offices in New York, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

One of the main attractions of pupillage with OTC is the opportunity to experience many different areas of law. Our pupils often arrive thinking they will specialise in one area only to be drawn to a totally new area during the course of their pupillage.

We are ranked in a large number of practice areas of practice by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 including:

Alternative Dispute Resolution • Banking • Business Crime • Clinical Negligence • Commercial & Chancery • Court of Protection • Disciplinary & Regulatory • Employment & Discrimination • Financial Services • Health, Safety & Environment • Insolvency & Restructuring • International Organisations • Pensions & Trusts • Personal Injury • Private Client • Professional Negligence • Public Law • Sports Law • Travel Law • Wills, Estates & Trusts

OTC was awarded Employment Set of the Year at the 2019 Chambers UK Bar awards, Chambers of the Year in the STEP Private Client Awards 2019 and was nominated for Client Service Set of the Year 2020 at the Chambers UK Bar Awards. 16 members of Chambers are on the Attorney General’s Panels.

A number of our members have international dimensions to their practices. Members of Chambers often 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 over 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. We are a Disability Confident Employer, Mindful Employer and have recently partnered with Bridging the Bar’s mini pupillage initiative. We were awarded Platinum in our most recent Investors in People (IIP) accreditation assessment. This is the highest possible level available across the IIP standards, and we are now amongst the top 2% of organisations worldwide to hold this coveted accreditation.

We received a Bar Council Certificate of Recognition for our efforts to promote individual wellbeing in Chambers, and we have trained mental health first aiders 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.

We’re forward-thinking, with a collaborative, collegiate ethos and aim to be open, friendly, and approachable, treating everyone with tolerance and respect. We maintain high standards and are responsive to our clients, staff and pupils.

OTC has a detailed profile within the Chambers UK Student Guide, which can be found online at that publication's website.

For a number of years we have made concerted efforts to develop sources of work outside of the UK. 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. We are increasingly involved with the New York State Bar Association through the UK Chapter of its International Section. Chambers is organising the International Section’s Regional Meeting in London in 2021.

For September 2022, we are offering up to 2 pupillage places and we welcome applications from candidates of all backgrounds.


The award for pupillages commencing September 2022 is £70,000 for the twelve months of pupillage. At Chambers’ discretion a proportion of the award (up to £25,000) is available for early drawdown during the BPTC year.

Pupils sit with four different pupil supervisors in each of our main areas of work during the pupillage year, specialising usually in the following four core areas of Chambers’ work: Employment law; Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury; either Public Law or Crime and Regulatory (financial and medical); and Commercial law, including Pensions but we are prepared to be flexible in the second six months if a pupil wishes to spend time in a different area of expertise. During the Second (practising) Six, pupils will undertake their own cases, as well as assisting their pupil supervisors with theirs.

Pupil supervisors provide regular feedback and write a report on each pupil’s overall performance - written work, potential as an advocate and general strengths and weaknesses. That report will be discussed with the pupil before being signed off and is discussed with the Head of Pupillage, forming part of a quarterly review cycle.

Chambers recognises the crucial importance of advocacy training. In the First Six, pupils undergo a series of both unassessed and assessed advocacy exercises in the form of mock hearings. The emphasis is firmly on constructive feedback and building confidence for the Second Six. We also try to send pupils to marshal with our former Members of Chambers who are now full-time judges. A typical diet during the practising six months comprises personal injury and employment matters as well as low value contractual disputes. This provides a great opportunity for our pupils to gain a broad range of advocacy experience as well as the chance to deal with their own clients and opponents.

Chambers has a mentoring scheme available to pupils, barristers and staff. We are also keen to promote and support wellbeing and good mental health, recognising that we work in a demanding profession and that pupillage can be a particularly challenging period.

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. Since 2003 we have offered tenancy to virtually every 12 month pupil that we have accepted. We see it as important that our pupils don’t feel that they are in competition with each other – tenancy decisions are made on merit, not by competition between pupils and they are therefore encouraged to help and support each other. We also offer a guaranteed earnings scheme for our junior tenants for the first two years after an offer of tenancy is accepted by way of an interest free loan to top up earnings each month to a set amount.

A ‘True Picture’ account of pupillage at our Chambers can be viewed in the online Chambers Student guide to the Bar.


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....


We pride ourselves on offering a rigorous but fair and transparent selection process for pupillage.

Applications received via the Pupillage Gateway are each initially independently assessed by at least two barrister assessors. Where there is disagreement, a third assessor will review the application. Applications are independently scored against the four criteria set out below:

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

Candidates whose applications score sufficiently well in the initial paper sift of applications are likely to be required to undertake a preliminary written test off-site. We normally interview around 38 candidates at first round interview. The first interview is conducted by a three-person panel, and lasts approximately 30 minutes. Candidates attending this interview will also be asked to sit a written exercise on the day. We invite approximately 8 applicants to final interview. Unlike many chambers, we give feedback to unsuccessful applicants who have reached at least the interview stage.

Deferred applications: Chambers does not accept deferred applications for pupillage. Our pupillage interview and assessment long weekend will be held 23 - 25 April 2021 - keep the dates free!

Chambers is a Disability Confident Employer. Reasonable adjustments to our assessment processes are accommodated as needed. We give special consideration to disabled applicants by moving them automatically to the preliminary written test stage. We are keen to foster social mobility and have members of Chambers who, as individuals from non-traditional backgrounds, are part of the Bar Council’s social mobility advocacy campaign. We encourage applications from graduates of any university and any background but with the ability and determination to succeed as a barrister. We particularly welcome applications from those belonging to groups still under-represented at the Bar.

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 2022) 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 2020.

Feedback on our application and selection process is usually very positive, as the following comments received from 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 hassle-some and stressful than it might otherwise be."

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)."

d) "I can have no complaints about your system. There are other processes where I have felt that I haven’t had the opportunity to impress – that is very definitely not the case with your process. The best will shine through, and they will probably be very much the best, having been tested on such a broad range of skills and attributes.”

Mini-pupillages: Chambers normally offers two mini-pupillage courses each year in June and December. Further details, and any application deadlines, will be available on our website.
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) 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 2022) 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 2020.

Please note that our pupillage interviewing & assessment long weekend is currently scheduled for Friday 23rd, Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th April 2021 (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 normally run interviews by video/Skype.