We are a specialist revenue law set of Chambers. Our work covers all areas of United Kingdom taxation and many of us practise in the European and international tax law fields. Tax law involves the analysis of many other areas of law and pupillage applicants should possess a firm understanding of trust, contract, land, European Community, human rights and company law.
We offer between one and three six- or twelve-month pupillages each year (up to £25,000 grant for each six months; i.e. up to £50,000 for a 12-month pupillage), and on occasion we accept applications for second or third six pupillages. Pupils will be assigned to one pupil supervisor, but will additionally spend time with perhaps a dozen other members of Chambers. This ensures that each pupil is exposed to all areas of Chambers’ work.
Much of pupillage will be spent in Chambers, reading papers in matters on which a member of chambers is advising, gaining an understanding of the issues and sitting in on conferences. Due to the great emphasis on excellent written work, in particular opinion writing and drafting, there will be opportunities throughout pupillage to impress in that way. Whilst the majority of the work is advisory, practice at the Tax Bar also involves significant court and tribunal appearances, nearly all of which are reported. In previous years, pupils have attended the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court as well as the specialist tax courts.
Our pupils do not normally receive instructions from clients during any stage of pupillage. We regard pupillage as a training period and the complexity of revenue law is such that pupils are generally not ready to undertake instructions before the expiry of that period. For pupils having spent a first-six pupillage in a chancery or commercial set, we would normally recommend both a second-six and third-six in revenue law before commencing practice.
Pupillage candidates will usually be required to have a degree (First Class or good Upper Second) in Law, or in another subject and to have successfully completed the CPE conversion course to the same standard.
We have traditionally accepted for pupillage both recent graduates and those who have practised tax in other professions. This is a tradition we are keen to continue.
Applications, by way of curriculum vitae and handwritten covering letter, should be sent to Laurent Sykes (please note that applications sent by email are strictly not accepted and will not receive a response). The deadline for receipt of pupillage applications is 31 January for pupillage commencing in October the following year (second or third six applications may be made throughout the year).
We generally consider all applications together after the closing date, and write to candidates at the start of March, to inform them whether they will be invited for interview. Depending on the number and strength of candidates, there may be as many as three rounds of interviews, with a written assessment comprising part of the second round.