Red Lion Chambers prides itself on providing excellent pupillages that train and prepare junior practitioners for a successful career at the bar. We place great emphasis on developing the potential of each pupil, enabling them to enjoy a varied and rewarding pupillage designed to promote and produce well-rounded first-class advocates.
The diverse work of our members enables pupils to work with leading practitioners across a full calendar of criminal and regulatory specialisms. A number of our members are also involved in international and human rights work, and pupils are frequently asked to assist in their research. Pupils will observe both prosecution and defence work and will spend time both in London and at our Chelmsford Annexe, thus gaining experience and insight into the differences in practice in London and on circuit.
Our pupillage programme, and all applications for pupillage and tenancy are governed by equal opportunities and fair recruitment principles.
Why Choose Us
We are one of the largest and highest ranked criminal sets in the country. Our work is challenging, rewarding, varied and often attracts public and media attention. We have a progressive work culture that allows candidates with exceptional ability to flourish.
Our set is home to up to 90 barristers including 17 Queen’s Counsel and a number of Crown Court Recorders. Many of our former members have been appointed to the judiciary, both as circuit and High Court judges. Our Head of Chambers, Max Hill QC held positions as Leader of the Criminal Bar Association, and the South Eastern Circuit. Those who gain pupillages with us therefore have access to an extensive pool of knowledge and expertise. By working alongside a diverse range of experienced specialists, pupils will learn from some of the best practitioners currently serving at the Bar.
Our members have a collaborative working approach and our practice groups are designed to disseminate knowledge and develop group expertise in a number of specialist areas. Those who gain pupillage with us will therefore have access to an extensive pool of knowledge and expertise, able to train alongside a range of experienced specialists.
Our pupils are also welcomed into the social life of chambers. We pride ourselves on being a friendly, approachable set, and there are regular opportunities to meet and mingle with members at all levels in an informal context. We have a very relaxed tea at 4pm where those working at their desks in chambers meet to chat about everything and anything. There are regular events in chambers, including talks and social networking events organised by our juniors, lectures and CPD sessions, monitoring groups that meet to discuss developments in a variety of areas of law and IT, dinners and celebrations.
Our historic reputation for excellence alongside our warm and collegiate team environment regularly attracts talent from other chambers. Ultimately, it is our heritage, values, skill and passionate belief in representation for all, that bind us together as one of the country’s most respected and admired legal teams.
We offer up to three twelve-month pupillages.
Pupils will generally have one pupil supervisor every four months to ensure they observe a wide range of work and are able to draw from different working practices and approaches. Pupils will spend some time at our Chelmsford Annexe, allowing them the opportunity to meet all members of chambers and to further develop their professional connections.
In the second six months, pupils can expect to be both in the magistrates and Crown court, usually on a daily basis, and sometimes twice a day. Pupils begin to develop their own practice, and will continue to be involved with that of their supervisor, and other members of chambers.
Chambers enjoys an outstanding reputation for advocacy. We are particularly proud of our in-house advocacy training run by Queen’s Counsel and members of chambers throughout pupillage.
- A full programme is designed and delivered throughout the year, helping our pupils develop their skills, so as to ensure pupils starting their second six pupillage are well-equipped for courtroom trial advocacy. This training continues throughout the second six months of pupillage.
- The regular exercises reflect the full range of skills required in tactical advocacy and witness handling. The exercises include bail applications, pleas in mitigation, examination in chief, cross-examination, speeches and legal argument.
- The sessions also cover written work. Pupils gain experience in drafting attendance notes, agendas, case summaries and openings, skeleton arguments, and applications.
- Interactive workshops are held to address topics such as ethics, good conduct and client care. Just before the second six months of pupillage, our junior tenants host a training session on magistrates’ court procedure, etiquette and useful tips to help with the first few weeks of practice.
- We also invite guests into chambers to assist with advocacy sessions, including district and circuit judges.
- During the course of the year, our pupils have the opportunity to conduct a mock trial at a Crown Court. This year the mock trial will take place at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey), judged by a circuit judge, with members of chambers acting as witnesses and jury. This is an invaluable opportunity for advice and feedback.
From 2018 onwards, Chambers will provide funding of £27,000. This comprises an award of £17,000 with additional guaranteed earnings of £10,000. Additionally, chambers will pay for all compulsory courses undertaken during pupillage, and we also offer an interest free loan scheme to our pupils wishing to purchase a laptop for work use.
Chambers understands the difficulties facing those who enter the profession at the most junior level. To that end, we do not require our pupils to pay rent. Additionally, those who successfully join Chambers following a full twelve-month pupillage with us will also be eligible to a rent-free period of six months as tenants.
At the successful conclusion of twelve months of pupillage, pupils will be eligible to apply for tenancy in Chambers. The application will comprise an interview, an advocacy exercise and a written application, including the submission of written work.
Many of our pupils have successfully gained tenancy in Chambers and others go on to successfully practice elsewhere.
Those who successfully join Chambers after their twelve-month pupillage will be eligible to a rent free period of six months. Chambers understands the difficulties facing the most junior practitioners and this period is intended to allow a new tenant to establish themselves.
We seek to recruit candidates who have an impressive academic record and a real talent for advocacy, a commitment to our practice areas and the determination and potential to excel at the bar. Our application process is undertaken in strict accordance with the principles of fair recruitment and equal opportunities.
The recruitment process consists of an assessment of written applications followed by two rounds of interviews. The final interview stage will involve an advocacy exercise.
Third Six Pupillages
Chambers has a strong record of recruiting tenants from our third six pupils, and welcomes applications from exceptional candidates.
Our third six pupils can expect to be in both the magistrates’ and the Crown Court most days, and will have a dedicated pupil supervisor to oversee their work. Pupils are fully included in our comprehensive in-house advocacy training programme, led by our silks, and may be able to participate in the mock trial if it falls within the time of their pupillage with us.
Chambers understands the difficulties facing those who enter the profession at the most junior level. To that end, we do not require our third six pupils to pay rent or clerks’ fees.
Applications for pupillages starting in September 2018 are currently closed. Please monitor the website for the opening of the 2019 application process.