Top chambers boost pupillage awards as talent war intensifies

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By Legal Cheek on


Rises of over 30%

The war to attract the very best wannabe barristers has stepped up a gear in recent months with many leading sets opting to increase their pupillage awards for future intakes.

The award at XXIV Old Buildings for 2024 now sits at a cool £85,000, up 31% from £65,000, while 2TG recently raised its offering from £70,000 to £82,500 for the 2024-25 cycle. Elsewhere, Ten Old Square and 4 Pump Court have boosted their cash awards to £75,000 (2023) and £80,000 (2024), respectively.

The Legal Cheek Chambers Most List 2023 shows a host of chambers now offer rates of £75,000, including Keating, Wilberforce, Brick Court, Crown Office and Twenty Essex. It’s also worth noting baby barristers can top up these already sizeable sums by carrying out their own court work in their second six months of pupillage.

The 2023 Legal Cheek Chambers Most List

The top awards outstrip new starter pay for rookie solicitors at City law firms. As can been seen in The Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2023, the highest paying law firms in London for trainees are US duo Davis Polk and Weil Gotshal, which offer first years £60,000. This amount does however rocket to £160,000 (excluding potential bonuses) once rookies have qualified, although this process at two years takes twice as long as pupillage.

The picture is of course very different at the criminal bar where many sets provide regulator-set minimums of £20,703 in London and £18,884 elsewhere.

If you are interested in finding out more about life as a barrister and meeting pupils and tenants from sets across the country, come along to our Virtual Pupillage Fair on Saturday 13 December 2022. Apply now.

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