Chambers divided over 2010 pupillage pay hikes

As reported on (6 August), from next October pupils at One Essex Court will receive an award of £60,000 – £15,000 more than their 2009 payment.

Following the news Essex Court Chambers increased its award to £55,000 from £40,000 for 2010, while Fountain Court will offer £60,000. Four New Square is hiking its 2010 award from £45,000 to £50,000, which will be increased in 2011 to £60,000. Quadrant Chambers has increased its award from £40,000 to £50,000 for its 2010 intake and 3 Verulam Buildings (3VB), which triggered the last chambers pay war in 2006, has raised its pay from £42,500 to £60,000 for 2011.

3VB pupillage secretary Adam Kramer said: “The rise is regrettable because it may be seen by some people as counter to the financial difficulties that law firms and other people have found themselves in recently. But we have to set rates that compete with other sets.”

However, Brick Court Chambers’ and Blackstone Chambers’ 2010 pupil awards remain static at £42,000 and £42,500 respectively and are ­reviewing their packages for 2011-12.

ilberforce Chambers and 4 Pump Court have also left their pay at 2009 levels, but will be increasing their respective payments to £48,000 and £47,500 ­retrospectively in 2011.

Blackstone co-head of chambers Ian Mill QC said: “It’s not important to be ­paying more than anyone else. We want the people who want to come to our ­chambers, not those who want to come because of the financial rewards available.”

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