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Northampton Chambers - 12 Months - October 2021

AETO information
Name of AETO:
Northampton Chambers
Head of AETO:
Ms Maria Savvides
Address of AETO:
10 Spencer Parade
Northampton
NN1 5AQ
AETO's email:
N/A
AETO's website address:
Main practice area:
Family Law
Practice areas:
Civil; Family (Public); Family (Private); Domestic Abuse; Matrimonial Finance
Specialist services:
Public Access Work
Circuits:
Midlands; South eastern; London
Tenants:
Seven
Number of junior tenancies (in the last three years):
Seven
Pupillage vacancy information
Number of pupillages:
One
Financial support level:
£12,000 - £19,999
Closing date:
8 February 2021 at 11:00 AM
Pupillage start date:
October 2021
Pupillage type:
12 month pupillage
Reference:
NPG077/20/2103
Description
Northampton Chambers has a proud history as the oldest and most established barristers’ chambers in Northampton. We are committed to delivering standards of excellence in both spoken and written advocacy, as well as in outstanding care of both our lay and professional clients. Overseen by Head of Chambers, Ms Maria Savvides, we operate from premises at 10 Spencer Parade in Northampton, and our central location allows us to practise both locally and further afield across the Midlands, London and the South East.

Although we are a relatively small set, we are extremely proud of the close-knit, friendly atmosphere that exists between all those in chambers, including clerks and pupils. Pupils are encouraged to spend time with members of chambers other than their supervisor to enable them to experience different styles of advocacy, and to see how life at the junior end of the Bar differs. We feel that it is important for pupils not only to observe their supervisor, but also to understand the work that they will undertake during their practising period and beyond.

Northampton Chambers is a specialist Family Law set, and we pride ourselves on our ability to effectively deal with instructions across the full range of practice areas.


Children (Public Law)


Members of chambers are frequently instructed in Care Proceedings ranging from EPO/Urgent ICO through to multi-day fact-finding and final hearings. The vast majority of our work comes in representing parents who have had, or are at risk of having, their children removed. We are also instructed to represent the children through their CAFCASS Guardian, as well as the Local Authority.


Children (Private Law)


We have experience in Private Law proceedings, whether that be change of residence, contact disputes, or applications for specific orders. We frequently represent both Mothers and Fathers, as well as being instructed on behalf of interveners should those issues arise. Members of chambers are instructed from First Hearings through to Contested Final Hearings, often with continuity to allow a rapport to be built with the client.


Matrimonial Finance


We are instructed throughout the full range of matrimonial finance hearings, ranging from maintenance pending suit through Directions Appointments and Dispute Resolution to contested final hearings. We often deal with matrimonial finance matters that have complex issues such as properties on trust and international elements.


Domestic Abuse


Members of chambers are often instructed in cases of domestic abuse where the protection of non-molestation and occupation orders is sought. We appear for both Applicants and Respondents and have significant experience ranging from without-notice hearings to fully contested final hearings.


Civil


Some members of chambers choose to take on some civil work in the form of RTAs and contract disputes in the Small Claims Court. Civil proceedings often form a significant part of the workload of our practising pupils alongside family matters, and this can be continued into tenancy.


Public Access


A number of us are qualified for Public Access work and regularly work directly with lay clients in a wide range of matters where a solicitor has not been instructed.


Pupils will experience the full range of our practice areas across their pupillage, and it is not unusual for pupils to undertake multi-day final hearings prior to the end of their practising period. We feel that it is important that our pupils are challenged in this way and provide any support that they may require to assist in preparation both prior to and during the case.

We have an exceptionally strong tradition of recruiting Junior Tenants from our pupils, and therefore see pupillage as the first step of the journey with us at Northampton Chambers. Pupillage supervision from Maria Savvides and Robert Pettitt allows pupils to experience work across each area of Family Law and gives a rounded training period. It goes without saying that we take our responsibilities to pupils extremely seriously as we believe that pupillage is the critical stage in any career at the Bar, and we aim to produce well-rounded, confident advocates regardless of the circumstances of any particular case.

Northampton Chambers staggers pupillage start dates in April and October so there is always a non-practising pupil and a practising pupil in chambers at any one time. Each pupil also has a junior tenant to act as a “buddy”. We feel that this encourages a positive environment with a number of avenues in case any issues arise, and this also ensures that rather than competing with one another, pupils are using their energies to develop and work collaboratively.

Applicants should be able to demonstrate:

• Interest in Family Law – although prior knowledge and experience is not absolutely necessary, it is encouraged;
• Strong intellectual abilities – we do not limit applications to any particular class of degree as we think it can unfairly exclude individuals, but it should be noted that as a rule of thumb, a 2:1 is required at degree level as a minimum, along with Very Competent on the BPTC;
• Effective communication/advocacy skills – in Family Law, the majority of the role involves advocacy and communication, whether that be in court or directly with clients;
• Good organisational abilities – in order to ensure that you are able to manage your practice effectively, it is important that candidates have the aptitude for information management, prioritisation of work, and are capable of delivering when under pressure;
• Basic level of IT literacy – although training will be given on specific software systems used by courts and chambers, applicants will be required to show a basic level of IT literacy.

Chambers has a strong record of recruitment across a diverse range of backgrounds and ethnicities.

COVID-19 has impacted on the self-employed Bar to a great extent and has equally had an enormous impact on the training offered to pupils as hearings no longer take place in person on a regular basis. We endeavor to continue to provide the highest possible standards of training in the current remote environment and understand the additional pressures that are being put on pupils at this time. Given the current uncertainty, we cannot predict when we and our pupils will be allowed to return to court together, but we have taken a number of steps to ensure that our training is fit for purpose and allows our pupils to learn and train adequately, and to ultimately reach their potential.


Recruitment Process - Interview Dates


Please note that due to our working schedule, interview dates will be at a weekend. If you are unable to make an interview date, we will do our best to accommodate but cannot guarantee an alternative.

• First round interview 27/28 February 2021
• Second round interview 27/28 March 2021

Offers of pupillage following interviews will be made at 9am on Friday 7 May 2021 in line with the timetable. We would appreciate a decision as soon as possible so alternatives can be considered.

How to apply
Applications are to be in the form of a CV and covering letter, sent by email to clerks@northampton-chambers.co.uk. All associated dates are in line with Pupillage Gateway. The closing date for the application is therefore 11am on Monday 8 February 2021. Any applications received after this time cannot be accepted and unfortunately will not be considered.