I write regarding your story on [the Pupillage Application Clearing House scheme] Pach (25 October 1999). As the creator of Pach, I am the last person to be "angered by it". On the contrary, I think that it is the only system which is fair to applicants to the profession and creates a level playing field between competing sets of chambers. Also, I could not in conscience complain that [my chambers] 4-5 Gray's Inn Square "is missing out on the best students". In the PACH era, 90% of our new tenants have been top firsts from top universities.
Our recent intake includes the top placer in bar finals, as well as the Eldon law scholar from Oxford, and among our next year's pupils is the highest scoring candidate in Cambridge law tripos. My chambers is regularly ranked top public law set in the legal directories and in your own august columns.
The bar's proposals would ensure prospective pupils have guarantees of places before spending money on bar school and would be able to choose between sets.
Contrary to your predictions, I do not think the profession will reject the proposals.
Michael Beloff QC, president,
Trinity College, Oxford