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Wilberforce Chambers is looking to gain an advantage in the war for talent by hiking its 2013 pupillage award by 35 per cent.
The set, which currently awards £48,000 for the pupillage year, is upping the payment to £65,000 for those starting pupillage in autumn 2013.
It is the first time in two years that a set has made such a large increase. In October 2009 One Essex Court announced a 33 per cent rise to £60,000 for its 2010 starters, while 3 Verulam Buildings upped its award by 41 per cent to £60,000 for its 2011 intake.
Wilberforce pupillage committee chair John Furber QC said: “We want to make clear we’re looking for top candidates and therefore want to offer a competitive award.”
Wilberforce now offers the highest pupillage award among the top 10 chambers. The majority provide maximum payments of £60,000 and have indicated that they will hold their awards steady at this rate for 2013.
4 Pump Court has also announced a rise, by 4 per cent, from £48,000 to £50,000.
The news comes after the Bar Standards Board raised the minimum pupillage award from £10,000 to £12,000 for autumn 2011.