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London’s Dyers Chambers has cancelled its pupillage for 2015, blaming cuts in legal aid.
The Gray’s Inn set, led by Andrew Campbell-Tiech QC, comprises 45 members and usually takes on one pupil a year, though it has taken on five new tenants since 2011. It is understood that Dyers has already recruited its pupil for 2014.
The set released a statement on its website, saying: “Unfortunately, and as a direct result of massive and sustained reductions in public funding, Chambers have reluctantly decided that we cannot at present offer a pupillage starting in October 2015.”
It added: “That decision will be kept under review, and further developments published here and more widely.”
Although the chambers works within the publicly-funded realm it also has white collar crime and business and regulatory practices. It pays pupils a grant of £6,000 in their first six months of pupillage, and guaranteed earnings of £6,000 in their second six, and states on its website that current pupils earn “well in excess” of that amount.
It is the fourth set to cancel its pupillage system because of legal aid cuts. Guildhall Chambers, Tooks Chambers (23 September 2013) and Charter Chambers all chose to stop recruiting pupils last year, blaming legal aid cuts, with the latter stating that legal aid cuts were set to “destroy the whole notion of pupillage.”