7 Bedford Row has guaranteed a fixed payment for its trainee barristers and pupils, becoming the first chambers to fulfil principles adopted by the Bar Council to help young barristers.
In November, the Bar Council accepted recommendations by a special committee, chaired by senior barrister and former Director of Public Prosecutions David Calvert-Smith QC, that barristers should volunteer payments to a central fund to help pay for training.
Two years ago, Maitland Chambers introduced a groundbreaking scheme guaranteeing its pupils earnings of up to £100,000 for their first three years. A number of other sets now offer similar guarantees to their young advocates.
The Bar Council previously controversially rejected proposals laid down in the Mountfield Report proposing a levy on barristers’ earnings to pay for trainee barristers.
7 Bedford Row has promised its prospective pupils £10,000 to cover the cost of its Bar Vocational Course. The set has also guaranteed an income of at least £10,000 for barristers in their second six months of pupillage – if a barrister earns £8,000, for example, the set will pay £2,000. It will continue to pay £16,000 to those starting their pupillages.
David Farrer QC, 7 Bedford Row’s head, said: “This demonstrates our long-term commitment to developing a balanced business in civil and criminal law.”