Pupillage award minimum to jump by as much as 40%

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BSB brings rookie pay in line with living wage

Pupillage awards across England and Wales will be set in line with the salaries recommended by the Living Wage Foundation, the Bar Standards Board (BSB) has revealed.

Living wage rates are currently £17,212.50 in London and £14,765.63 elsewhere, the BSB says in a new policy statement. Prior to today’s move, the minimum a chambers could pay was £12,000.

The bar regulator has confirmed these new remuneration levels will increase annually in line with living wage figures: currently £10.20 an hour in London and £8.75 across the rest of the UK, according to the foundation’s website. The new rules regarding pay are expected to come into effect next year.

Turning to the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), the BSB confirmed it will allow law schools to take greater control over course delivery. This, according to the regulator, could include adjustments to “class size”, “the need to always offer options”, and “session design”.

Drilling into the detail of the BPTC, the regulator revealed civil litigation will now be split into two exams: a closed-book “Civil Litigation and Evidence” assessment and an open-book “Civil Dispute Resolution” exam. Previously, aspiring barristers would sit one three-hour civil exam consisting of 75 multiple-choice questions.

The 2018 Chambers Most List

The professional ethics exam will also be spilt up. According to the policy statement, bar hopefuls will now sit one exam during their studies (set by the law school) and a further open-book assessment (set by the BSB) during their pupillage.

Other changes revealed by the BSB today include: allowing BPTC-ers an “unlimited number of attempts” at each assessment within a maximum period of five years; removing “Very Competent” and “Outstanding” grade boundries from BSB centralised assessments and replacing them with a pass-or-fail format; and introducing a new mandatory negotiation skills course to be completed during pupillage.

The BSB anticipates changes to the centralised assessments will come into force in September 2020 at the earliest.

The BSB’s director of strategy and policy, Ewen MacLeod, said:

“Our Future Bar Training programme has been a comprehensive review of all aspects of the training and qualification process for barristers. The further policy decisions that we have agreed today about the future of pupillage and other forms of work-based learning, the authorisation framework and the adoption of our new curriculum and assessment strategy are important milestones in this review and will inform the new training regulations for barristers in the future.”

The BSB’s shake-up comes just weeks after it confirmed that the four Inns of Court — Lincoln’s Inn, Middle Temple, Gray’s Inn and Inner Temple — will continue to have an essential role in the training of barristers.

In a separate policy statement from today’s, the regulator said students will still need to hold a “student membership of an Inn” and complete compulsory “professional development activities”. Under the current rules, bar hopefuls must complete 12 sessions, made up of formal dinners, guest lectures, advocacy workshops and debate nights.

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It’s a fvcking scandal.



Let’s hope the BSB does something about those chambers that are not paying clerks the LLW.



Though I agree clerks should you be paid LLW, I don’t think it is BSB’s place – they need to stick to regulating barristers and not overreach.



Just about enough to pay rent in London.



That’s all you gathered from this change lol?

Not the unfairness of it all?


Judge hobosexual

And maybe even to afford a no holes barred 50 shades of gray sesh every now and again


Outstandingly very competent

wow bye VC … turned it didn’t count for sh**



No the unlimited resits for 5 years actually. Forget the VC or O as NO ONE CARES



So all those chambers profiles with ‘outstanding’/’very competent’ won’t count for anything … what a way to spend £20k



To be honest, they never counted for anything mate. It is all about undergraduate degree classification.



You might want to check the pupillage statistics split both by first degree performance and bptc performance



Yes, I might. I might also want to see the correlation between those who get first at undergrad and outstanding on BPTC. There is no evidence at all to suggest they secured pupillage because they got Outstanding. Many who got Outstanding on BPTC actually secured pupillage before the start of BPTC.

Speak to any practitioner and they will tell you how little they care about BPTC grade. As long as it is at least a VC.

Sorry, pal, your Outstanding is worth jack shit.



‘There is no evidence at all to suggest they secured pupillage because they got Outstanding.’

Congratulations on winning this weeks stating the obvious competition. There is NO evidence to suggest that, nor is there evidence to suggest they secured pupillage because they got X degree grade, or attended X University or did X number of mini-pupillages, or was involved in X extra curricular activities.

No one thing secures a pupillage. It is a combination of things, and of course your interview/s. To suggest that an Outstanding grade on the BPTC does not bolster your CV is ridiculous (and sour grapes for your Competent).

‘Many who got Outstanding on BPTC actually secured pupillage before the start of BPTC’

Incredible that you managed to speak with every Outstanding BPTC student who secured pupillage.

‘…how little they care about BPTC grade. As long as it is at least a VC’

A lovely point well made, except that whilst asserting that practitioners care very little about the BPTC grade, you are actually implying they care quite a bit as it must ‘at least be a VC’. In fact, if it must ‘at least be a VC’, this suggests that any less will be a deal breaker, in terms of being awarded pupillage. I guess practitioners must put some stock behind this qualification after all.


Mate, you have far too much time on your hands.

Any moron can get VC with no effort. So anyone who gets less than VC would need to explain why. Other than that, chambers don’t care about BPTC grade. You will struggle to find a practitioner who disagrees with that view.

Full disclosure: I got a VC – I cry myself to sleep every night. I am also a junior tenant at mid tier civil set.


Quite. Chambers don’t care what you get on the bar course. If you want to go to a decent commercial or Chancery set, you need a first or 2.1 from Oxbridge. The rest of the bar is not as choosy, because the work is easier and you need to be less bright to do it. So if you have a 2.1 from Warwick, for example, you can kiss goodbye to a career at the commercial or Chancery bar, but you can make it doing construction, defamation, family, PI, crime, employment, or general common law stuff.


The BPTC is just excrement.

It means nothing to barristers.

It means nothing to employers.

It means nothing to anyone.


This is a very silly comment from someone who evidently has yet to “bag” said pupillage.


Agree. Generally you need a first from any university, or a 2.1 from Oxbridge. Though occasionally 2.1 grads from other universities do slip through, especially those with a bit more experience (army etc).


What absolute bu******. I got a 2.1 from university of Westminster and I’m now a tenant Hahahahahahahah.

Ah you’re all absolute idiots wow


Yes, but where are you a tenant? If you’re a tenant at some naff crime set then poor you.

We are talking about decent commercial sets where a 2.1 from Westminster wouldn’t get a look in (not these day, granted a couple of decades ago things were different).


Brick court mate

Not Amused

How generous of them to these young people.

“Salary and benefits

We [the BSB] aim to be a good employer and believe that in order to achieve this we must set and maintain competitive salaries and benefits for our employees. If employed by us you can expect to receive:

1. A competitive salary inclusive of any London weighting
2. A non-pensionable benefits allowance paid in addition to salary of £1,300 per annum
3. Defined contribution pension scheme
4. Ride2Work Scheme
5. Death in service benefit
6. Childcare Vouchers
7. Interest free season ticket loan
8. Xexec online member benefits
9. 27 days per year (pro rated for part time workers) of annual leave
10. Recognise 8 English public holidays (pro rated for part time workers)
11. By discretion of the Directors, full shut down over the Christmas period, and
12. Enhanced Maternity Pay for employees with two years or more service”



What point are you even trying to make?



Are these the radical reforms to the BPTC? W.T.F.

What happened to getting of private equity firms milking poor students and awful teaching by failed barristers turned BPTC lecturers?

I thought the Inns would take control over skills training, and knowledge based exams would not require classes.



Another ridiculously pompous and uninformed comment by yet another half-baked barrister.

Good luck finding pupillage!



I am a second six pupil, actually.

You, on the other hand, are a failed barrister. How does it feel teach students who go on to be successful?



Why does Tom Connolly not teach the BPTC🤣?



It’s very harsh to call BPTC tutors “failed barristers”. No doubt the quality of teaching varies, but personally I’ve had some great tutors – one of whom went into teaching simply because they wanted a regular income instead of the feast/famine existence of being at the junior bar.



The £19k price tag for an utterly pointless course will remain.

No one at the bar has any respect for this course, and that will continue to be the case.

Private equity will continue to cash in.

Failed barristers will continue to be employed for a shitty course no one cares about.

What a waste of time that entire consultation process was



Out of interest, who do you think should be teaching this course or any other course? I personally can’t see many practising barristers wanting to do it.



The Inns have plenty of practitioners willing to volunteer to provide a few hours here and there for skills training. During pupillage there is a compulsory advocacy training course, run by the Inns, which involves fairly senior judges, silks as well as juniors running training sessions. At no cost to the pupil.

The Inns are putting in £4m per year in scholarships. That £4m could easily go towards running Inns based skills training (advocacy, drafting etc).

What we don’t need is a full-time 12 months course. There is no need for that. Most of the current BPTC can be self-taught (the knowledge based elements). And the rest is taught so inefficiently, that if it was taught by the Inns, it could be covered in a few weekend.



Failed barristers?

What a baffling and uneducated statement. The individuals I know who have taught on the BPTC chose to, for a variety of reasons. Many whilst continuing to practice.

Even a ‘failing’ barrister, if by that you mean they’re a poor advocate (how would you personally know), can continue to earn a decent living at the Bar.

It’s not like the course is taught by people no longer permitted to practice.



My advocacy tutor had been an in-house lawyer at a local authority before he started teaching advocacy on the BPTC. Go figure…

Some of the others had struggling practices at the criminal bar. They make a lot more as BPTC lecturer.

A handful were successful barristers but went into teaching on the BPTC for personal reasons (usually pregnant or young family) – these handful of lecturers were very good.



It is true. Those who teach on the bar course are failed barristers. If they had a decent practice, they would be, err, practising.



Albion in Bristol teaches on the BPTC and I have to say that they are decent practitioners making a good living not “failed barristers”. Sure, its not One Essex Court but stop making rash generalisations.



This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.




This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.


Those at Albion Chambers are, by definition, failed barristers.

K&E Trainee

How generous, now some of these pupils can afford to move into a slightly bigger cardboard box in London!



There aren’t that many women with the right credentials and depth of experience to sit on the board – the issues covered are extremely complex.



Well done for reading a BBC news article?



Back to the Mac, tats on her back
Ass so fat, hit that from the back
When it clap from the back, she clapping it back
She flat on her back and it’s back to the trap



Dem got told. Comic Sans MS size 18’d. Banggit.



Note this Katie King. Tats on the back. Men like tats on the back.



Targets for the money shot.


“The professional ethics exam will also be spilt up. According to the policy statement, bar hopefuls will now sit one exam during their studies (set by the law school) and a further open-book assessment (set by the BSB) during their pupillage”.

So does the above mean that you can only be Called to the Bar if and when you have passed the further open book ethics assessment during pupillage?



No. You get called, you start pupillage, and then you have to pass the advocacy, negotiation, and ethics courses/assessments during pupillage.



That’s so faking stupid.

As if chambers will allow you to revise when you’re doing that.



Haha wow! So the independent Bar is completely FUBAR these days, huh?

Just merge the bloody profession already and let the market/client needs dictate who gets the advocacy training and experience, and who gets abandoned in the DD/DR cubicles.

It works just fine in Canada and the US, and they seem to have much higher profit margins for it!


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