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London commercial set reverses decision to cancel pupillage recruitment round

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Henderson Chambers says it will now defer interviews until summer following discussions with Bar Council

A top commercial chambers will now push ahead with its pupillage recruitment programme for this year, just 24 hours after it announced it had been cancelled due to the virus pandemic.

Yesterday, Legal Cheek brought you the news that Henderson Chambers had withdrawn from the 2021-22 pupillage recruitment cycle, with the set pointing out all of its members were now working from home in accordance with government guidance and interviews would therefore need to be conducted by video conferences.

“We simply cannot be confident that interviews conducted this way would be a fair reflection of candidates’ abilities,” the set said in a statement confirming the cancellation.

But following productive discussions with the Bar Council, Henderson this morning confirmed it has now postponed rather than cancelled this year’s pupillage programme.

The 2020 Legal Cheek Chambers Most List

It said: “Following our announcement yesterday morning, we are pleased to be able to report that the Bar Council has been able to offer us the opportunity to defer the current round of pupillage interviews and offer making (for pupillage commencing 2021-22) until the summer and autumn, so long as offers are made before the Bar Standards Board introduces the single mandatory recruitment timetable on 1 November 2020.”

The statement continued:

“We are grateful for this change of position and it enables us to postpone rather than cancel this pupillage round. The recruitment round remains suspended for the moment, but candidates who had been selected for first round interview will, depending on the prevailing circumstances, be interviewed later on in 2020. We would like to thank the Bar Council for taking this action at this most difficult time.”

Legal Cheek’s Chambers Most List shows Henderson recruits two pupils each year on awards of £70,000, and accepts applications exclusively through the Gateway.

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