Our pupils are our future. Junior tenants are recruited largely from only two to three pupillages a year. Great importance is attached to pupillage, resulting in enjoyable, practical and above all high-quality training from experienced pupil supervisors, each with their own practice.
Pupillage at 4PB
We have a deserved reputation as one of the friendliest sets in which to do your pupillage. Located in modern offices besides St Paul’s Cathedral with cutting-edge knowledge and technology, 4PB has maintained its position as one of the leading sets by blending unrivalled stability with a forward-looking policy of modernisation and expansion.
4PB combines the best of modern and traditional aspects of life at the Bar. Members aim to be approachable and supportive of pupils, whilst allowing them sufficient space to demonstrate initiative and to develop as individual practitioners. 4PB’s status coupled with the quality and breadth of training means that the pupils who do not obtain tenancy have usually done so elsewhere. Members of 4PB go on to do great things; former members include the Honourable Mr Justice Kirkwood, the Honourable Mrs Justice Pauffley and the Lord Justice Peter Jackson and Circuit Judges HHJ Cryan, HHJ Anwyl, HHJ Murdoch, HHJ Brown, HHJ Probyn, HHJ Simon, Mr J Williams, HHJ Michael Simon, HHJ Jane Probyn and HHJ Khan.
4PB are an exclusively specialist family law set. 4PB is nationally and internationally recognised as one of the leading Family Law sets. Members of Chambers specialise in high-profile and cutting-edge public law, private law, financial remedies, international and Court of Protection cases and are instructed in cases which regularly make the front pages of the newspapers as well as the law reports. Members regularly write articles and give lectures and seminars around the country.
Applications for pupillages are advertised through the Pupillage Gateway.
Through Pupillage Gateway applications for Pupillage starting in October 2025 will open for browsing from 27th November 2023. The application window for submission is from 3rd January 2024 to the deadline, 7th February 2024.
Application forms will be marked by the following four criteria:
- Academic and Intellectual Qualities
- Impact and written articulacy
- Commitment, drive and capacity for hard work
- Qualities and suitability for the Bar/Chambers
There is a two stage interview process that will take place. Applicants that are selected for a second round interview are usually invited into chambers for a one-day mini-pupillage.
We are also inviting applications for a 3rd six month pupillage commencing in the autumn. We are particularly interested in applications from those with experience of financial remedies, who wish to practice predominantly in that field. To apply please email email@example.com.
4PB offers either 2 or 3 funded 12-month pupillages every year, these are purely family based.
The award for pupillages starting in 2025 will be £50,000 this comprises of a £40,000 grant per year and is further supplemented by guaranteed earnings in your second six which is expected to be a minimum of £10,000.
You can expect to be in court on average two to three times per week. As one of only two to three pupils, you will take on a varied but manageable caseload in your second six months.
The pattern of pupillage at 4PB
During your 12 months you will be allocated three pupil supervisors. We will try and tailor your pupillage to meet a pupil’s interest whilst also ensuring that pupils receive a thorough grounding in family practice. In addition to working with your supervisor you will work for and go to Court with other members of Chambers.
In your second six months you will have a caseload of your own to which priority will normally be given. You will have the opportunity to see all types of family work including ancillary relief, public and private childcare, adoption and parental child abduction cases.
If you are taken on, you can expect earnings in your first year roughly equivalent to those of a newly-qualified solicitor in a medium-sized city firm.
4PB’s status, coupled with the quality and breadth of the training we provide, means that those pupils who do not obtain tenancy with us have, invariably, been placed in other sets. Chambers regards it as part of our duty to our pupils to endeavour to find alternative tenancies or third sixes for those not taken on. We have, at present, a 100% success rate in this endeavour, with our most recently unsuccessful pupil walking straight into a tenancy at another well regarded London set.
“Pupillage was challenging as one would have expected, however the depth of support from all members of chambers was exceptional.”
At bar school you hear some real horror stories about pupillage. At 4 Paper Buildings you can be sure that you will be judged by the quality of your work and the content of your character, and nothing else.
“You can be pretty certain that you will get more court work during your pupillage here than any other chambers, and that means more experience and higher earnings in your second six to help with the transition to being self-employed.”
Comments from recent pupils