Deadline looms for Bar scheme

CHAMBERS are being urged to join the Bar Council's new pupillage clearing house scheme as the deadline for applications looms.

The Bar Council promises that its new Pupillage Applications Clearing House Scheme (PACH) will offer a “fair and orderly” system for selecting pupils to serve their 12-month pupillage.

The deadline for applications is 16 February, and Bar Council chair David Penry-Davey QC is urging chambers to commit themselves to the scheme.

Around three out of four sets have already signed up, although the Bar Council will not release official figures until the deadline closes.

“It is very much in the interests of the profession, chambers and prospective pupils that this excellent scheme works well,” said Penry-Davey, adding that the response so far had been “very encouraging”.

The scheme has been vigorously pushed by the Bar Council ever since it was announced last year by the then chair Peter Goldsmith.

It received a setback late last year when the existing Compas scheme, made up of around a dozen common law sets, decided not to join.

But Compas has agreed to co-ordinate its selection procedures with PACH.