One of the big names in insurance law, Crown Office Chambers focuses on major clients defending themselves from personal injury claims. The set is best known for dealing with cases of industrial disease and clinical negligence, yet also specialises in property damage, health and safety, product liability, international arbitration, and professional negligence.
Members are involved in high-profile cases, notably representing the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, and acting for the defendants in X Children v Minister for Health & Social Services, the largest personal injury claim in British legal history as child abuse victims in Jersey sue the Minister for Health & Social Services for £238 million.
The chambers offers a standard pupillage, with experience under three supervisors over the course of the year, but work is given from a range of members within the set, allowing pupils to broaden their knowledge in different aspects of personal injury. The first two seats, taking place in the first six months, offer particularly rigorous training; pupils can expect continuous feedback from their supervisor, as well as regular advocacy training exercises to prepare for their second six months. Crown Office Chambers has a policy of overlooking mistakes during the first three months of pupillage.
On top of this, regular seminars are given for all junior members to attend. During the second six months, rookies can expect to be on their feet in smaller court hearings at least two to three times a week. Lucky ones occasionally get to appear in larger cases and even in international courts.
The atmosphere is supportive of new pupils, with last year’s junior tenants given the role of supporting the pupils. However, the set does not provide many social opportunities for members to meet and so pupils may miss out on the upbeat lifestyle of a more sociable chambers.