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Blackstone boosts pupillage award from £60k to £65k to keep pace with elite sets

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Big-money commercial and public law set throws an extra £5,000 at its baby barristers

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Blackstone Chambers is boosting its pupillage award by £5,000, joining a host of top London sets now coughing up £65,000 in order to attract the best young legal talent.

Nestled in the heart of historic legal London, Blackstone — which is renowned for its high-level commercial and public law work — takes on four pupils each year.

The move takes it onto a par with a profusion of elite chambers, including 11KBW, which recently upped pupillage pay packets by £10,000, to the £65k level that is increasingly becoming the benchmark for hotshot pupils.

There are now only two chambers at the bar of England and Wales that chuck more cash at their baby barristers.

Offering three pupillage slots annually, 2 Temple Gardens comes in second place, paying out £67,500. But it is construction-geared commercial set Atkin Chambers which holds the accolade of bar top payer, with its recently improved award hitting 72,500 pounds.

With the first six months of pupillage pay usually tax fee, pupils at leading commercial sets do rather well for themselves. And given the competition for places, it’s not surprising that applicants are expected to have stellar academics.

According to Legal Cheek’s Chambers Most List, four out the last five pupils to secure tenancy at Blackstone studied at either Oxford or Cambridge.

And new pupils will be in good company higher up the pecking order too, with the set’s members including a host of stars, such as former Lord Chief Justice Lord Woolf and legendary human rights barrister Dinah Rose QC.

According to the set’s website, the new award of £65,000 will not come into effect until 2017, so aspiring barristers commencing pupillage this year will unfortunately miss out on the pay increase.

Blackstone Chambers’ award drawdown during future pupils’ Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) year remains unchanged at £17k.

Which sets pay the top whack and are full of the most Oxbridge graduates? The Chambers Most List has all the answers.