Becket Chambers is committed to providing opportunities to the most talented pupil candidates regardless of background or any protected characteristic. Joining Chambers offers an appealing combination of high-quality work and good quality of life, living and working in attractive areas of Kent or Sussex.
We offer at least one twelve-month funded pupillage per year, normally commencing at the beginning of October.
Since our foundation in 1993, we have firmly established our reputation as a vibrant, sociable common-law set. We operate across a wide range of practice areas, and offer first-class levels of customer care, specialist knowledge and value for money, whether via solicitors or using Direct Access.
Specialising in family and civil law, we cover all aspects of family law, including public and private law children cases, injunctions, parental removal and abduction, divorce, and financial remedies. Key areas within civil law include contract disputes, property matters, landlord and tenant and personal injury.
Sophie Gray – member of Chambers
You will enjoy a well-supported, challenging and broad pupillage experience, supported by expert and practical training to fully prepare you for your role as a qualified barrister.
As a pupil, you’ll have the opportunity to experience a wide range of Chambers’ work (i.e. civil and the three core family practice areas), to become immersed in the daily life of Chambers, and to discover the expectation and rewards that you can expect as a Becket Chambers barrister.
Allen Worwood – member of Chambers
We will allocate you a pupil supervisor who will monitor your progress to ensure that you have the opportunity to experience a high level and range of training.
Your supervisor will assess your progress monthly, in accordance with the threshold and competencies in the BSB Professional Statement for Barristers 2016. You’ll also be assessed quarterly, by your supervisor and the head of pupillage.
Pupillage at Becket Chambers is practical and rewarding. During your first six, you will shadow our experienced barristers in all areas of law, gaining an understanding of their daily professional lives. Our pupils particularly benefit from extensive time spent attending court, with their pupil supervisor and other members of Chambers, from the outset of their pupillage. You will have the opportunity to attend conferences and hearings in Kent and Sussex, operating from our main chambers in Canterbury, as well as from our Brighton Annex.
During your second six, you will begin to take on your own cases, supervised and supported by your pupil supervisor, with regular feedback on your work.
You will also have the opportunity to get to know and to work closely with our Clerking Team whilst starting to learn about how to build a successful practice.
You will be expected to play an active part in Chambers’ life, which includes attending Chambers’ events, which may be seminars, client meetings, or other events at our premises. As a pupil, you will also be expected to write a number of articles and case studies throughout your pupillage, which will be published on our website. This will help you to build your profile in readiness for developing your own practice as a tenant.
We are keen on hearing from candidates with an interest in Family and Civil Law, as we are looking to expand these teams to take advantage of the excess work we are being offered in these areas. Pupils will initially be expected to undertake work in all areas of law in which Chambers operates. Members of Chambers can either maintain a general common law practice or specialise in a specific area of law.
We look for pupils with a high level of motivation, intellectual ability and professional compatibility with Chambers, who demonstrate a commitment to the Bar.
We employ a vigorous selection regime, as we intend to offer pupillages with a view to tenancy, and require a minimum 2:1 degree in Law or a relevant discipline. We also expect applicants to be a member of one of the Inns of Court before pupillage begins.
We encourage applications from groups who are currently under-represented in Chambers such as women, those from ethnic minorities and persons with a disability. We have no preference for an undergraduate law degree over the one-year conversion course. We look for the best and the brightest candidates, whatever their background.
Chambers is a member of the Bar Council Pupillage Gateway Scheme (‘the PG Scheme’) and it is intended that, save for when not practical, all pupillage applications shall be dealt with in accordance with the PG Scheme rules.
The Head of Pupillage, as appointed by the Chambers Management Committee, is responsible for the recruitment process and will be supported by a Pupillage Selection Panel (all trained Pupil Supervisors). Underpinning the recruitment and selection process is the more detailed Becket Chambers ‘Pupil Recruitment – Policy and Procedures – 2021’ document – which can be accessed here Pupil Recruitment – Policy and Procedures 2021 – Reviewed June 2023.
When a pupillage is advertised, you should apply through the Pupillage Gateway Website within the dates specified on the Portal.
How the application works
Once you have applied, the assessment process is in three stages. At each stage in the selection process, our recruitment panel of experienced pupil supervisors will use a predetermined scoring matrix to select the candidates to go through to the next round.
Stage 1: Shortlisting of candidates
In the first stage, we consider the application forms received by Chambers via the Pupillage Gateway. From the submitted applications we select a shortlist of up to 15 candidates.
Stage 2: First interview
If shortlisted, in your first interview, you will meet with a panel of interviewing barristers, either in Canterbury or online. The first interview is (comparatively) informal, and will be your opportunity to tell the panel about yourself, ask and answer any questions that may come up, and demonstrate that you are a suitable person to join our very successful set.
Stage 3: Second interview
If successful at first interview, you will then be invited to return to Canterbury for a second-round interview (online if required by Government Guidance). This second interview involves a practical exercise which enables you to showcase your advocacy ability in a mock hearing. You will be given papers to review beforehand, and the hearing will be set up so as to be as realistic as possible.
Although the case itself will be fictional, it will be based on real scenarios which our barristers have experienced in court. Following the practical exercise, a further interview will give you the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of law and current events and discuss your application with us.
The successful candidate will be selected from the second interview and offered pupillage at Becket Chambers.
Unsuccessful candidates in this process will be provided with feedback, if requested.
Christian Fox – member of Chambers
A Becket Chambers pupillage award is always fully funded in accordance with BSB funding requirements. This is your guaranteed basic earnings if you are successful in your application for pupillage. We will always pay the BSB minimum pupillage award for the year of your pupillage on an equal monthly basis.
However, in the second six, if you receive over and above your guaranteed basic earnings this will be due and payable (in accordance with the terms of your Pupillage Written Agreement (see below)). At no stage will you receive less than your guaranteed basic earnings during your practising period.
There is, therefore, scope for significant earnings rivalling many London sets. No pupil at Becket Chambers has ever failed to earn significantly more than the BSB minimum pupillage award. In recent years pupils have earned in their second six (in addition to the award for the first six) between £22,000 and £51,000. If offered a tenancy, earnings are expected to increase further still.
In addition, you will be reimbursed for any reasonable amounts paid towards travel and training courses. This is detailed within the Pupillage Written Agreement.
Pupils will be provided with a written Pupillage Agreement, complying with current BSB requirements, before starting pupillage. This will set out the duties of Chambers as the AETO, duties of the pupil and details of the pupillage, amplified by the Pupillage: Expectations, Roles & Responsibilities of Pupils’ document.
There is no guarantee of a tenancy in Chambers at the end of your pupillage but, subject to your performance throughout your pupillage, Chambers has an expectation that it will both be in a position to offer a tenancy to you and that you will make an application for a tenancy with Chambers.
Becket Chambers is committed to creating a diverse workspace. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to race, colour, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. We encourage and welcome applications from women, Black, Asian and minority ethnic individuals, neurodiverse and disabled people and those who are LGBT+, as well as candidates from other underrepresented groups.
We encourage candidates for pupillage to give us a full picture of any mitigating circumstances, including neurodiversity and late diagnosis neurodivergence if applicable. We will make reasonable adjustments to enable disabled or neurodiverse candidates (including where a mental health issue is classified as a disability) to demonstrate their suitability for the position.
For more information about life as a Becket Chambers barrister, download our Pupillage Prospectus.