Michael Mansfield QC, the star speaker at the now notorious paid-for pupillage application advice event, has released a statement distancing himself from the organisers. Awkwardly, those organisers, Naeem Mian and Sultana Tafadar, are both barristers at Tooks Chambers – the set which Mansfield leads…
In the statement, which appeared this morning on Tooks Chambers’ website, the top QC says he “would not knowingly have become involved in an event that charged students”. Mansfield adds that his decision not to withdraw from the event – which originally cost £186 per head but has now been made free – was contingent on the admission price being dropped. The full text is below.
Statement of Michael Mansfield QC and Tooks Chambers regarding student training
Michael Mansfield QC was recently advertised as speaking at an event at which students would be charged for training in how to obtain pupillage.
The event was not organised by Tooks Chambers. Michael and Tooks have a proud record of participation in free training for students. Michael would not knowingly have become involved in an event that charged students.
Once it became known that the event in question involved fees being charged, Michael and Tooks made their views clear to the organisers. The event is now free and open to all. In addition, it is now being supported by the Criminal Bar Association in light of the fact that that it is free.
In those circumstances, Michael has agreed to participate as has Michael Turner, the Chair of the CBA as they do not want the students who have booked to be let down. Michael would not have participated if students had continued to be charged. Michael, and Tooks would like to emphasise their commitment to the Bar being open to all.