Serjeants’ Inn Chambers bumps pupillage award by 22% to £55,000

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Exclusive: Clinical negligence specialist throws extra £10,000 at its baby barristers

Serjeants’ Inn Chambers has increased pupillage pay to £55,000, Legal Cheek can reveal.

The clinical negligence and police law specialist has upped rookie remuneration by a hefty £10,000, equating to a rise of 22%. The money move puts the Fleet Street set’s pupils on a pay par with their counterparts at Enterprise Chambers, Hardwicke, One Crown Office Row and 5 Essex Court.

Legal Cheek’s 2018 Chambers Most List shows that Serjeants’ Inn — whose members last year acted in the Charlie Gard case — takes on two pupils each year, and accepts applications exclusively through the Pupillage Gateway. The Bar Council-operated system opened earlier this month and closes on 7 February.

A spokesperson for Serjeants’ Inn Chambers told Legal Cheek:

“We see this as a worthwhile investment in order to continue to attract first rate candidates.”

The accolade of top pupil payer is still held by Atkin Chambers. Offering three pupillages each year, the construction-geared commercial practice chucks a whopping £72,500 at its baby barristers. Sitting just below it and dishing out awards of £70,000 are London-based trio 2 Temple Gardens, 4 Pump Court and Henderson Chambers.

The 2018 Chambers Most List

These hefty pupillage awards tower over training contract remuneration at even the highest-paying City firms. Legal Cheek’s 2018 Firms Most List shows that the biggest trainee salary currently up for grabs is £55,000, courtesy of US trio Davis Polk & Wardwell, Kirkland & Ellis and Sullivan & Cromwell.

Serjeants’ Inn Chambers isn’t the only set to increase its pupillage pay in recent months. In October, Legal Cheek brought you the news that Henderson Chambers had bumped its award to £70,000, an increase of £20,000 or 40%.

At the same time, the commercial and common law specialist also unveiled a new international secondment, a training tool normally reserved for trainees at large corporate law firms. Henderson Chambers — which takes on three pupils each year — confirmed its new recruits will have an opportunity to hone their barrister skills in the sun-soaked British Overseas Territory of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

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Pupillage applicant

Just dropping in to tell Legal Cheek that Old Square Chambers have bumped their pupillage award too from 40k to 50k (subject to upward review for 2019 pupils).



It’d be useful if someone did a chart of “highest pupillage award” based on what actually goes into the pupil’s pocket – e.g. “pure” awards which are not taxed; and awards which comprise a certain amount of “guaranteed earnings” (which are subject to tax).



Since pretty much all chambers split the award 50:50 (first six/second six) and most pupils choose the option to pay tax on the second six but have the first six tax free, such a chart is not going to be particularly useful to most .


Kirkland NQ

Pfft, that’s spare change I drop on the floor and don’t even bother to pick up



Yes, but that’s because you do not have any time to pick it up working 18 hours a day and trying to reach those target hours.



Something has to compensate you for the ignominy of being a solicitor.



I see the 36 Group has also increased theirs from previous years for civil. It is now £60k. Seems a fair few top and/or climbing chambers are offering attractive awards.



“Henderson Chambers — which takes on three pupils each year — confirmed its new recruits will have an opportunity to hone their barrister skills in the sun-soaked British Overseas Territory of the Turks and Caicos Islands.” What a joke. The TCI is a corrupt, Mickey Mouse jurisdiction with appalling local lawyers who (if it could be thought possible) are even worse than those in Cayman, BVI and Bermuda, and an equally dreadful judiciary.


And so have

One Essex Court



Traditionally, the Bar has been the most prestigious branch of the profession. However, with extended rights of audience and very competitive salaries, becoming a solicitor is probably more and more attractive for prospect practitioners.
Why should a person opt for one profession or the other? I take no position.


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