Serjeants’ Inn Chambers

About The Set

Serjeants’ Inn Chambers — which takes its name from the now destroyed inn of the Serjeants-at-Law, an ancient and superior order of barristers — is most famous for its award-winning clinical negligence practice, but also excels in police law, public law, professional discipline, inquests and inquiries and court of protection work. Its cases often involve important political, social and ethical issues.

Serjeants’ Inn Chambers was recently awarded ‘Chambers of the Year’ at the Halsbury Legal Awards 2015, Chambers & Partners Bar Awards and Modern Law Awards. It also won ‘Professional Discipline Set of the Year’ (Chambers and Partners Bar Awards) and ‘Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury Set of the Year’ (Legal 500 Awards). In addition, the set won three of the six awards available to the Bar at The Lawyer Awards 2015, including Bridget Dolan as ‘Barrister of the Year’, and was the only set of chambers to be shortlisted for the Lawyer’s Business Leadership Awards (‘Leadership Team of the Year’). Further, Serjeants’ Inn was the only set to be shortlisted by the Financial Times, which featured it as “stand-out” in its Innovative Lawyers Report 2015.

Finally, Serjeants’ Inn was one of five finalists for the ‘Client Service Set of the Year’ at the Chambers & Partners Bar Awards 2015 and was highly acclaimed for ‘Best Client Service Initiative’ at the Modern Law Awards as well as the Legal Week Innovation Awards this year.

What The Junior Barristers Say

Since moving from a classic barrister rabbit warren in Temple four years ago to the renovated old Reuters building on Fleet Street, Serjeants’ Inn has set out its stall as one of the bar’s most modern chambers.

Junior barristers at the set say the building “still feels shiny and new”, and praise the City law firm-style resources, which include video conferencing suites, decent IT and a more open-plan set-up.

The atmosphere remains unmistakably chambers-y, though, with a “collegiate” environment that encourages the “sharing of knowledge”. One insider tells us: “I have no experience of other chambers but from discussions with others who have I believe the level of support is very good here.” Another adds: “No one makes you feel stupid”. The bonhomie often continues outside the office, with junior members of chambers socialising in the area’s many bars.

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But make no mistake, Serjeants’ Inn is a place of industry. As one barrister puts it: “It is a chambers where people work”.

Happily, the work is some of the most interesting in legal London – much of it revolving around the set’s specialism in clinical negligence, police, Court of Protection work, public and regulatory law and inquests & inquiries. “It’s vanishingly rare to have a case that doesn’t interest me,” enthuses one Serjeants rookie bazza, while another exclaims: “Fascinating work — I have never had a day of boredom”. Recent high profile instructions undertaken by the set’s members include the Hillsborough Inquests, the tragic Charlie Gard case and the Aubrey unfair dismissal claim against the Northumbria Police that memorably resulted in The Sun’s headline, ‘Loin of Duty: Police chief punched by Superintendent at BBQ over affair with top cop’s wife’. In summary: “The work is always sensitive and often public.”

As with all top sets, Serjeants can pick and choose the very cream of law graduates, who, being of the confident barristerial mindset, can be relied upon to be fairly self-reliant. But training is still treated seriously. One insider tells us: “We continue to have relevant in house training organised by the different practice teams. This is very useful.” Another echoes this: “The quality of training reflects the quality of colleagues, and is very high.”

A final point to note is that Serjeants’ Inn is one of the better sets at which to practise as a woman. Four out of its 16 silks are woman, while, unlike at many chambers, there is also a significant senior female presence in the clerks’ room and on the management team.

Deadlines

Mini-Pupillage

Applications close 01/02/2018

Mini-Pupillage

Applications close 01/05/2018

Pupillage

Applications open 08/01/2018
Applications close 07/02/2018

Key Info

Juniors 45
QCs 16
Pupillages 2
Oxbridge-educated new tenants* 3/5

*Figure is for the five most junior members of chambers; does not include postgraduate studies

Money

Pupillage award £45,000
BPTC advance drawdown £10,000

Gender Diversity

Female juniors 36%
Female QCs 25%