The 36 Group is a leading set of Chambers with over 150 barristers, including 20 Queens Counsel and many judicial appointees, arbitrators and authors of academic texts. We pride ourselves on excellence throughout Chambers. Based in London, our work is geographically widespread both domestically and globally, including many international clients. The 36 Group is an international multi-specialist set, with barristers appearing before all levels of court.
We operate as five distinct Practice Groups under the umbrella of a shared management structure, shared constitution and policies, shared premises, and a shared ethos. Each of the Practice Groups has its own Head of Team, Practice Manager and clerks. All of our pupillages are specialist pupillages in one of the five Practice Groups. Our comprehensive Pupillage Manual governs the pupillage process from recruitment of pupils to tenancy and reflects our commitment as Chambers to the fair recruitment of pupils and to ensuring that our pupils receive the best training and support.
Throughout pupillage, in addition to Pupil Supervisors, pupils will have the support of a Pupillage Officer and Head of Team for their Practice Group, and a ‘Chambers Buddy’ who is not part of the tenancy recruitment process. Pupils are encouraged to meet other members of chambers and to engage in networking and social events, and to become part of the life of Chambers.
36 Family will be seeking to recruit one pupil to undertake a specialist family law pupillage commencing in October 2023. The Family pupillage award is £45,000 comprising the elements set out below.
36 Family is the specialist family practice team within The 36 Group. The team comprises a number of practice sub-groups, with members of the team often working within more than one sub-group:
• Family Finance
• Children and Modern Families
• Dispute Resolution
Over the last decade, 36 Family has established itself as one of the leading family law teams in London and nationally, with notable practitioners in all areas of family law. Much of our work has an international dimension, and this is reflected in many of the high profile cases our barristers are instructed in. We also have operations in Singapore and Cyprus, and strong connections with solicitors in a number of other countries, reflecting our international client base and outlook.
We have been at the cutting edge of the development of family law in a number of areas, with several important cases in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal in recent years. We have three QCs in the family team, a number of judicial appointees (some in other jurisdictions) and a number of authors of key academic texts. We have excellent relationships with a wide national base of instructing solicitors including the most highly regarded specialist family law departments in the country.
36 Family are recent winners of the 'Chambers of The Year' award at the Lexis Family Law Awards. The Head of the Family Team - Hannah Markham QC, is the recipient of the 'Silk of the Year' award at both the Lexis Family Law Awards and the Chambers and Partners Awards in 2020. William Tyler QC has recently been shortlisted for ‘Family Silk of the Year’ award at the 2021 Chambers & Partners UK Bar Awards.
We are also highly regarded for our work in non-court dispute resolution, including within the team some of the country’s leading family arbitrators. Where possible, we will endeavour to give our pupils experience of attending mediations, arbitrations and early neutral evaluations.
Our modern, high spec facilities include a suite of rooms for client meetings and all forms of ADR to take place in chambers or remotely.
Pupillage with 36 Family will provide training and experience in the full range of family law, including financial remedies, ToLATA and financial provision for children, recognition of relationship or parental status, disputes over children (public and private law, adoption, international abduction cases), surrogacy and donor conceived children, gender identity and the international aspects of practice in all those areas including recognition and enforcement.
Pupils will have at least 2 core pupil-supervisors, usually with different areas of specialism within family law. The pupil will also benefit from the multidisciplinary environment of The 36 Group and have the opportunity to gain experience of other areas of law, such as probate, trusts, criminal law or other areas of interest. Pupils will spend approximately 80% of their time in the family team with their core pupil supervisors, and 20% of their time in another team with a supporting supervisor, gaining a broader knowledge of the law.
Pupillage at 36 Family includes an intensive training programme, as well as the opportunity to write or contribute to legal publications, blogs, webinars and other networking events.
Although pupils and very junior tenants initially practice across the whole range of family law we encourage junior tenants to choose areas of specialisation from one or two of the sub-groups described above within a few years. They will be supported by the family team practice manager and clerks to develop their area(s) of specialisation.
We have always regarded our pupils and our junior tenants as our future and we seek to invest our time and resources to ensure they develop and achieve their potential as fully as possible. Pupil development and wellbeing are hugely important to us and the pupil will be nurtured and supported to reach their full potential throughout their pupillage and beyond. Pupils are always recruited with a view to offering them tenancy at the end of the 12 months. There are regular appraisals and opportunities for assessed pieces of work and written and oral feedback throughout pupillage.
We pride ourselves on being a welcoming, sociable, diverse and supportive team of barristers and staff members. Pupils and junior members of chambers are encouraged to seek advice and support from more senior members of the team, and we have regular opportunities to socialise together and with professional clients in addition to more formal networking opportunities.
We aim to make our pupillage application process as rigorous and fair as possible, and to encourage the widest diversity of exceptional applicants including those currently based overseas. Applications are welcome from all highly talented candidates regardless of race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, health, neurodiversity or family / financial or other personal circumstances
In the event that candidates for pupillage are invited to interview, interviewing days will be held in person in Spring 2022. Requests for remote interviews will be considered.
Any applicant who would be assisted by an adjustment to the process by reason of disability, neurodivergence, health needs or other personal circumstances may contact the Head of Pupillage to discuss their particular needs and enable any appropriate adjustments made. This does not form part of candidate assessment.
The questions that candidates will be asked to address on their application forms are;
1. Give an example of a time when you’ve had to advise someone against doing what they wanted to do. What was the situation, what was your approach and what was the outcome? (200 words)
2. Why do you want to be a family law barrister? Are there any particular aspects of the job which especially appeal to you or to which you feel you have a particular aptitude? Please give any examples of your commitment to, and interest in, family law. (200 words)
3. Give an example of a time when you have had to work under pressure. What was your approach and what was the result? Were you successful? Would you manage a similar situation differently next time? If so, how? (200 words)
4. ‘Fault-based divorce should be abolished’. Do you agree? Why? (550 words)
5. (Optional) If you have faced adversity or obstacles in your journey to the bar so far which you believe ought to be considered in assessing your application as a whole, please use this opportunity to tell us about the nature of the challenge you have faced and what steps you have taken to overcome it. (200 words)
The criteria that will be considered in pupillage applicants are as follows;
• Academic attainment
• Analytical Skills
• Interpersonal skills
• Written communication / advocacy
• Oral communication / advocacy
• Resilience, including working under pressure, courage, and perseverance
• Ethical integrity
• Commitment to the bar, to the 36 group, and to a Family law practice
These will be assessed from a combination of the application form and interview.
The successful pupil will receive an award of £45,000 for the pupillage year, which includes £15,000 by way of guaranteed personal earnings during the second six. By arrangement part of the award, up to a maximum of £10,000, can be paid in the year preceding the pupillage. The award includes an allowance for travel expenses, which pupils are generally expected to meet from the award.
Further information about 36 Family can be found here: www.36family.co.uk. Our full Pupillage Policy for The 36 Group can be found here