Exclusive: Rookies will now earn £50,000
Old Square Chambers has become the latest set to chuck extra cash at its pupil barristers.
The employment and personal injury law specialist now offers a pupillage award of £50,000, equating to an impressive increase of £10,000 or 25%. Old Square takes on two pupils each year — one in London and one in Bristol — and is currently home to more than 60 junior barristers and 14 silks.
Legal Cheek’s 2018 Chambers Most List shows that Old Square’s baby barristers are now pulling in the same levels of cash as their peers at a raft of other sets including: 12 King’s Bench Walk, 7 Bedford Row, 9 Gough Square, Cornerstone Barristers, Devereux Chambers, Hailsham Chambers, Matrix Chambers and No5 Chambers.
However, top pupil payer bragging rights remain firmly with Atkin Chambers. In 2015 the construction-geared commercial practice increased its award from £60,000 to a whopping £72,500 (20%). Sitting just below it on awards of £70,000 are 2 Temple Gardens, 4 Pump Court and Henderson Chambers.
Interestingly Old Square — whose members acted in the constructive dismissal case involving former Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro — has confirmed to Legal Cheek that London and Bristol rookies will receive the same £50,000 award. This is unlike City law firms who traditionally pay their London trainees far more than their regional counterparts, at least partly due to the higher living costs associated with the capital.
Old Square isn’t the only set to have recently increased its pupillage pay.
On Tuesday, Legal Cheek reported that Serjeants’ Inn Chambers had increased its award to £55,000, a hefty rise of £10,000 or 22%. The clinical negligence and police law specialist take on takes on two pupils each year, and accepts applications exclusively through the Pupillage Gateway. The Bar Council-operated system opened in January and closes on 7 February.