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4PB - 12 Months Pupillage - October 2023

AETO information
Name of AETO:
Head of AETO:
Alex Verdan QC
Address of AETO:
St Martin's Court
10 Paternoster Row
AETO's email:
AETO's website address:
Main practice area:
Family Law
Practice areas:
Family; Children Law; Court of Protection; Private and Public Children; Matrimonial Finance; Family (Private); Family (Public); Forced Marriage
Specialist services:
Public Access Work; Mediation; Arbitration; Pro Bono; International Arbitration
Number of junior tenancies (in the last three years):
Pupillage vacancy information
Number of pupillages:
Financial support level:
£30,000 - £39,999
Closing date:
9 February 2022 at 2:00 PM
Pupillage start date:
2 October 2023
Pupillage type:
12 month pupillage

Recognised nationally and internationally for its work, 4PB is one of the leading Family Law sets in the country.

Members of Chambers specialise in high-profile, cutting-edge cases in International Private Law, Financial Remedies, Public and Private Law. Members are regularly instructed in cases that are reported in law reports and the national press. They are also widely published, contributing to legal texts, writing articles and providing lectures, seminars and webinars, domestically and internationally.

As a set of Chambers, 4PB is committed to in providing a friendly, yet highly professional environment, with strong leadership and management, focused on meeting the challenges at the Bar.

4PB combines the best of modern and traditional aspects of life at the Bar. Our move to our new offices reflects the fact that we embrace modern practices and take a forward looking approach to the future of the Family Bar. At the same time members aim to be approachable and supportive to pupils, whilst allowing them sufficient space to demonstrate initiative and to develop as individual practitioners.

Our recruitment process begins with the Pupillage Gateway application form, a comprehensive sifting process, followed by a careful selection and interview process which takes place between March and April 2022. Applicants selected for a second round interview will also be invited into chambers for a one day mini pupillage in April 2022.

4PB is an equal opportunities employer and we strive to ensure that each candidate is given an equal and fair opportunity within the selection process. Chambers is committed to increasing diversity and inclusion. We aim to be proactive in our approach to recruitment.

Chambers aims to ensure that the selection process for pupils is sensitive to conscious and unconscious bias. Those responsible for selecting pupils undertake training to ensure that the approach we take is fair and as free as possible from misconceptions, misapprehensions and prejudice. We do not want invisible barriers to be erected to those from the BAME communities, who are LGBTQ+ or classified as disabled. Chambers is proud of its association with “Bridging the Bar”, that we house the co-chair of the Bar Council’s Race Working Group and the chair of the Middle Temple LGBTQ+ forum. Chambers has regular chambers-wide training on how disabilities legislation should inform the approach to distribution of work, recruitment and client care. Chambers also takes pride in the outreach work that its members undertake to ensure that as diverse a cohort of applicants as possible is willing to apply to chambers. We know that we cannot be complacent. We want our chambers to reflect our values and we want it to be known that we encourage applications from BAME applicants, people with disabilities and in protected categories, those from the LGBTQ+ community and diverse and under-represented backgrounds.

4PB is renowned for providing comprehensive and high quality supervision and training, to ensure, insofar as we can, that our pupils perform to the best of their ability. We aim to make pupillage an enjoyable and practical experience, providing training from experienced pupil supervisors in all areas of Family Law.

During pupillage, each pupil is allocated three separate supervisors, one every 4 months. Chambers aims to tailor pupillage to meet a pupil's interest whilst also ensuring that pupils receive the breadth of experience in family practice. We seek to provide pupils with experience in Private and International Law, Financial Remedies and Public Law. In addition to working with your supervisor you will work for and go to court with other members of Chambers.

As a pupil we expect you to be in court (including remote hearings) on average two to three times per week. You will take on a varied but manageable caseload in your second six months.

As a result of our careful, fair and open selection process, combined with our training, our growth at the junior end, in recent years, has been largely organic. Alternatively, pupils who may not have met the criteria required to be a tenant at 4PB, have all, so far, obtained tenancy or a third six placement elsewhere.

4PB offers up to 3 funded 12-month pupillages every year. The award for 2022 is £30,000 per year this is including earnings from work done in your second six which is guaranteed to be at least £5,000.

In addition to the £30,000 paid to the successful candidate, 4PB offer a hardship bursary fund totalling £18,000 from which awards are paid and which can be apportioned to the successful candidates. This is paid during the 12 month period prior to the commencement of pupillage to assist in meeting the costs of The Bar Training Course (BTC), the Bar Practice Course (BPC) or the Bar Vocational Course (BVS) fees (or to assist with repaying the course fees if you have already completed the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). The award of the bursary is means – tested and the amount of the award is discretionary. Applications for the bursary will be open only to those who have been offered and accepted a pupillage at 4PB and an application may be submitted upon the acceptance of an offer of pupillage or at any time prior to the conclusion of the courses detailed above.

We look forward to receiving and reviewing your application.
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. Which skills and characteristics are the hallmarks of a good advocate, and which of these do you and don't you possess? (250 words)
  2. Why do you want to join our chambers? In your answer, please give reasons for your choice and explain why you are interested in our areas of practice. (250 words)
  3. Was Re H-N and Others (children) (domestic abuse: finding of fact hearings) [2021] EWCA Civ 448 a decade defining case or a missed opportunity? (250 words)
  4. What is the greatest challenge you have faced so far? (250 words)
How to apply
To apply, please click on the Apply Online link below and then complete the online application form.