Compas clearing scheme takes off

COMPAS, the university-style clearing house scheme for pupillages, is creating a buzz around the Inns of Court, according to one of its chief promoters.

So far, 12 common law sets have signed up to the Compas system, which aims to bring order to the current free-for-all annual pupil selection round.

Christopher Purchas QC, of Raymond Kidwell QC's set at 2 Crown Office Row, says Compas has generated a great deal of interest among chambers.

And he says there is still time for more common law sets to join the scheme, due to be ready for this year's selection round.

The computerised clearing house system has been jointly pioneered by Purchas and Michael Spencer QC, of Robert Nelson QC's 1 Paper Buildings set.

It commits participating sets to a strictly ordered pupil selection round and invites all pupil candidates to complete a single standardised application form.

It is designed to simplify the system dramatically and eliminate the poaching and wrangles that occur between chambers over the early deadlines many put on their offers, forcing pupils into committing themselves to sets early on.

This year Compas anticipates processing up to 800 applications from candidates for around 40 pupillages. If all goes well it will be looking to expand next year, taking on board further common law sets.

Sets interested in joining the scheme should contact secretary Martin Spencer at 4 Paper Buildings – the chambers of Harvey McGregor QC.