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Exchange Chambers to double pupillage intake next year

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Northern behemoth to take on six pupils in 2020

One of the country’s largest barristers’ chambers has announced that it will double the number of pupils it takes on.

Exchange Chambers, which has branches in Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool, will take on six pupils in September 2020 covering crime, commercial and common law. Previously it took on three.

Nationwide, there are just 400-450 pupillage spots available in barristers’ chambers each year.

Exchange Chambers, which has been dubbed the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ for its regional strength, has 172 members covering all manner of practice areas. The lucky six will join over 150 existing juniors at one of the largest sets in the land.

Part of the pitch is that pupils at the regional bar get even better on-the-job training than in London. Pupils will be in court more often than in the capital, Exchange reckons, and can expect to be on their feet almost every day in their second six. The £25,000 pupillage award is far less than the amount typically on offer in London, mind you.

Exchange junior David Williams tells Legal Cheek that “you’re not always sitting behind a senior barrister or doing the running behind the scenes. On the first day of my second six I was handling my own case — and earning fees — which is quite rare”.

The chambers scored an A for quality of work in the Legal Cheek Pupil and Junior Barrister Survey 2018-19, as well as scooping the gong for Best Facilities at our glitzy awards bash last month.

The 2019 Legal Cheek Chambers Most List

58 Comments

Kronos

So? When the Greenberg Glusker LLP – People’s Liberation Army merger is finalised this year, the ‘Berg will be conscripting 12,000 trainees per calendar month. Combine that with our famous 110% retention rate and you will see not merely a behemoth, but a top, top behemoth.

(13)(1)

Anonymous

I salute you, sir/madam.

Your GG stuff is genuinely funny. Unlike that JDP fellow.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

“Northern Powerhouse” you say? That’s like Barnsley or Sunderland calling themselves a “League One Powerhouse”. It’s true but the chosen comparators are a touch third tier.

(16)(5)

Anonymous

Get back to studying for your finals. I’ll remember to beast you when you arrive for your summer vac scheme.

(3)(1)

Anonymous

How wrong you are. Why don’t you try to develop some original material rather than copyiing the Brexiteers on the Daily Mail site? I don’t waste my time with those as fourth tier as you.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

You are clearly upset.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Not at all. Toying with those as basic as you is quite a jape.

Anonymous

I see school has broken up for Easter

(6)(1)

Anonymous

They’re a very decent set. By no means the best in Manchester (for that you would need to look to Deans Court or Byrom Street), but they punch at exactly the right weight for a big regional set.

Of course, if you’ve got a chip on your shoulder about work type or that London, I’m sure that you won’t let any knowledge I may impart get in the way of a well-developed prejudice.

(8)(20)

Judy

Liverpool FC, Manchester City: premiership battle. A little southern bias exhibited in this comment both in terms of football and the Bar.

(3)(2)

Anonymous

Liverpool and the Manchester clubs are the biggest and the best in their field (ie association football). Liverpool
District Registry not so much.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

Erm, Liverpool and Manchester United are the biggest clubs in England.

Man City are not a big club – they don’t even sell out Champions League matches.

(3)(1)

Anonymous

Not just Liverpool. Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds.

A few of my proper London counsel find themselves regularly instructed in these courts, so it can’t be that low rent, can it?

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Regional solicitors know that London barristers are better than those who practise in the regions, which is why they tend to instruct the London Bar on cases in their local courts – especially in the District Registries.

(14)(2)

Anonymous

That’s not my experience as a regional litigator. I used Manchester silks even in London.

Anonymous

“Second rate lawyer in provinces lacks judgment and instructs another second rate lawyer and thereby fails to do what is best for the client” shock.

Anonymous

Is this news? Or a press release? (I expect this comment will be deleted as it is critical of LC’s “journalism”.)

(6)(0)

Lord Harley of Counsel

Jaflas is recruiting. Apply now.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

They’ll crash the market with an over supply of barristers, just like the Criminal Bar did.

(1)(1)

Criminal Clerk

Yeah but who else are you going to farm out to criminal sols at bargain basement rate in order to feather the nests of senior practitioners and keep me in my Essex mansion?

PS – don’t worry criminal sols we’ll never actually chase the fees.

Yours sincerely,

Criminal Clerks’ Room

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Yep. Going from 150 to 153 (assuming they retain them all) will crash the market. That’s why people are exiting the Criminal Bar. Its nothing to do with fees being frozen for 25 years, its all to do with there being too many pupillages.

(5)(1)

Anonymous

Fewer hearings and massive over supply means they will earn nothing. But they know that. Doesn’t stop them moaning about it incessantly. Personally, given I’m being gouged for 45% income tax, the less we spend on criminals getting off the better.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

In 2011-12 there were 1,635 firms holding General Criminal Contracts. In 2017-18 there were 1,331. When something goes down by 19% this is not an increase.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

We are talking barristers here, darling. And therefore you are helping prove the point.

Anonymous

From a January 2018 LC article featuring Exchange:

“When we asked one how much support they could expect at work from colleagues, we were told to “Get a grip”!”

“Avoids mollycoddling”.

Sounds scary!

(2)(0)

Anonymous

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Scary clown video!

(0)(0)

Crispy Glove

Clowny clown clown

(0)(0)

Anonymous

To the bitter here who did not get pupillage at Exchange or were not kept on after pupillage at Exchange, ask yourself this:

Who is to blame?

This Chambers looks for outstanding candidates. If you do not make the grade, that is not Chambers’ fault, is it?

(0)(11)

Anonymous

It might look for them. But surely they go to London.

(9)(5)

Anonymous

Not really. There is a thriving Bar in Manchester (Leeds and Liverpool too), by no means under-populated by counsel with Oxbridge firsts. Not everybody wants to work in London. Many prefer life up here.

(9)(14)

Anonymous

The cleverest and most able barristers practise in London, where the most complex work is handled. People find their level. If you practise outside London, it is simply because you are not good enough to work there. All this nonsense about “lifestyle choice” is designed to hide the obvious. But nobody is fooled. Least of all solicitors. “I’ve got a really complex Commercial Court case; I’ll instruct a member of the Manchester Bar” said no decent City solicitor, ever.

(24)(11)

Anonymous

Yes and No. I’ve practised in London for 25 years. For what I paid for 3 bed terrace, I could buy a mansion and 4 rental properties up north and take things easy with the same income. A thought that becomes more appealing every year. 😉

(7)(2)

Anonymous

Seriously London is great…until you realise you’re on £100k but the one bed you just purchased has neighbours on benefits

Anonymous

But London is a seriously dire place to live. Full of obnoxious people, dangerous, expensive and a nightmare to travel around. Life in the North is far superior.

(10)(4)

Anonymous

Its a great place to live when you’re in your 20s and 30s. When you get to the age where pottering around the garden rather than clubbing and night life is more your thing, it sucks and the Yorkshire Dales kicks ass.

Anonymous

Tbf, Manchester etc is decent for nightlife as well.
Really,
You’re not gonna make a fortune practising in the north, but you’ll be v upper middle class if you’re good.

If you feel the need to make £500k+ for two decades and set up all your kids with trust funds, London it has to be

Anonymous

Just no.

I’m from Yorkshire. I live in London. You couldn’t pay me enough to go back to Sheffield where the city centre highlights are chain restaurants and empty old warehouses. That and it’s always so frickin cold.

Anonymous

Try harder.

Many of us here in London respect those who wish to move elsewhere for a quiet life, slower paced life, larger house or the like – all legitimate reasons.

But you don’t need to pretend London is sh1te to make a point. It just makes you look a bit dim and/or uncultured.

Anonymous

Rubbish. You leave London because you are second rate and can’t cope with the competition.

Anonymous

You are related to Exchange senior AICM £5

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Que?

(0)(1)

BENEDICTUS DOMINUS BIRKENHEADUS IMPERATOR REX

Get your hands off my list.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Nah. He’s 7 Harrington Street.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

There are QCs at Exchange who went to Liverpool, Birmingham and Wales Universities. They wouldn’t even get a mini-pupillage at a decent Set in London.

(26)(8)

Anonymous

Yet they are QCs. Funny that.

And it’s not as if you get QCs in London who went to the likes of Keele and Guildhall.

(1)(10)

Anonymous

But Silks in the provinces. They took Silk competing with equally second rate people. They wouldn’t have stood a chance in London, where the competition is the hardest in the world. Plus, their instructing solicitors will be of a similar intellect and won’t know that they are dealing with someone who isn’t top notch. They would soon be rumbled by a City partner. Still further, the work simply isn’t as challenging in the provinces. The toughest work is argued in the London High Court.

(26)(1)

Decent set

We also don’t give mini-pupillages to people who think set is a proper noun.

(7)(18)

Anonymous

Set is a proper noun. Don’t pretend for one moment you are in a decent one. LLB (Warwick) and a PI hack in Birmingham, no doubt.

(12)(0)

Anonymous

Don’t flatter him, Warwick requires atleast a few As and Birmingham PI requires a 2i.

He’s more like part time grocery clerk living at his mumsy’s with a 2ii from London met

(11)(0)

Anonymous

“a name used for an individual person, place, or organization, spelled with an initial capital letter, e.g. Jane, London, and Oxfam.”

A special needs school is a noun. The name of the particluar special needs school you attended is a proper noun.

(1)(18)

Dr Bonham

Exchange junior David Williams tells Legal Cheek that “you’re not always sitting behind a senior barrister or doing the running behind the scenes. On the first day of my second six I was handling my own case — and earning fees — which is quite rare”.

I did my pupillage in London and on the first day of my second six I was earning fees and in court…

(11)(1)

Anonymous

Quite. But remember that these chippy second raters in the provinces need to spin this nonsense to assuage their insecurities. They know they are talking nonsense.

(21)(1)

Anonymous

I seem to recall that several years ago there were a number of pupils who didn’t stay or weren’t kept on after pupillage. I know of at least one who chose not to apply for tenancy after pupillage. I assume the others either didn’t apply or were not kept on. I know of another who left shortly after getting tenancy there.

Has Exchange resolved whatever issues they had, either through better interviews to weed out inferior candidates who or finding out why the pupils failed?

(0)(0)

Charles Utley

I have to say that I think it desperately sad that such an enormous set is only prepared to take six pupils. But that is the world in which we now live. Many hundreds of people who pass the Bar exams are now deprived of pupillage because of the virtue signalling of the Bar Council (its insistence that every pupillage must carry an enormous financial award).

(14)(1)

Anonymous

Yeah far better it was reduced to zero so no plebs could afford to be a barrister.

Am I getting close?

(1)(4)

Anonymous

It would be better if there were a small number of the best educated: ie, private school and Oxbridge.

(17)(3)

Tenant at a rival Chambers

I seem to recall that several years ago there were a number of pupils who didn’t stay or weren’t kept on after pupillage. I know of at least one who chose not to apply for tenancy after pupillage. I assume the others either didn’t apply or were not kept on. I know of another who left shortly after getting tenancy there.

Has Exchange resolved whatever issues they had, either through better interviews to weed out inferior candidates who or finding out why the pupils failed?

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.

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