Head of chambers
Ms Susan Hunter
Described by the Legal 500 as “aWestern Circuit Powerhouse”, St John’s offers the perfect chance to build a stellar career at the Bar while enjoying the great opportunities on offer in one of the UK’smost vibrant cities. We are one of the largest andmost prestigious sets in the south west, with over 80 barristers and 9 silks. Chambers UK and the Legal 500 list us as a “top-tier” leading set in all of our major practice areas, describing us as a “go-to” and “must instruct” chambers. We were shortlisted ‘Regional Set of the Year’ in 2020 by Chambers Bar Awards, andwe were the Legal 500’s ‘Regional Set of the Year’ in 2018, further cementing our position as a standout destination for high-quality applicants who want the very best career without compromising on quality of life.
Agriculture and rural affairs, clinical negligence, commercial, construction and engineering, Court of Protection, employment, family and divorce, inquests and public inquiries, personal injury, professional negligence, public and administrative law, real estate, tax, wills and trusts.
Successful candidates will typically have strong academic credentials, but we have no preference as to whether your undergraduate degree is in law or whether you have since transferred. We look for high-calibre recruits who can demonstrate certain key competencies: the ability to analyse complex information quickly, to present arguments succinctly and persuasively, to communicate effectively with all types of people. We look for people who are determined, resilient and motivated. Experience of public speaking and mooting is desirable but not essential. We generally expect our pupils to specialise within one practice group. We take on pupils with an eye to tenancy, so our pupils do not compete with each other. Provided that they successfully complete pupillage, they can normally expect to become tenants.
The pupillage committee and heads of practice groups determine the pupillage requirements for the following year by reference to the BSB’s Professional Statement and any specialist checklists. You can be sure your pupillage will cover all necessary aspects of your specialist area, while giving you exposure to a broad range of styles and approaches so that you can find your own.
We do not accept applications through the Pupillage Gateway, but the timetable for our 2023 pupillage application process will be set by the BSB. It is likely that we will advertise from around November 2021 and applications will open in January 2022. Application forms will be available via the St John’s Chambers website (www.stjohnschambers.co.uk).
We currently offer onemini-pupillage per month, and as of this year at least 50 per cent will go to applicants fromnon-traditional state school and BAME backgrounds, with the intention of improving access to the bar. Typically, a mini-pupil’s timewill include accompanyingmembers to court, attending conferences involving clients and/or solicitors, and reading and discussing paperwork. Mini-pupils will also have opportunity to ask questions about the profession and about pupillage.
Numbers for 2023 are yet to be finalised, but the three pupils we have recruited for 2022 are receiving awards of £40,000 along with the loan (with an option to buy) of the latest iPad Pro, Smart keyboard and iPen. The award is paid in 12 instalments of £3,333 per month, subject to a claw-back to the extent of any fees actually received during the second six months of pupillage.
Administrative & public law
The public law Bar spans the full range of administrative, public and constitutional law.
Banking & finance
Barristers and banks generally cross paths when something costly has gone wrong in relation to a transaction or product.
Traditional chancery includes trusts, probate, real property and tax, while commercial chancery covers a range of finance and business disputes.
Commercial dispute resolution
The commercial Bar covers a range of areas, including banking, sale of goods and shipping, insolvency, civil fraud, and insurance/reinsurance.
Typically, common law chambers are multidisciplinary and are divided into practice groups so members can develop and maintain specialisations.
Company law is relevant to almost everything a company does, from filing annual returns to proper procedure in relation to board decisions.
Competition and regulatory work involves a mixture of commercial, public and European law.
Construction & engineering
Contentious construction work involves the resolution of disputes by way of litigation, mediation, adjudication or arbitration.
Specialist criminal law chambers offer expertise in all areas, including child abuse, human rights, violent crime, and white collar crime.
Employment lawyers handle a variety of issues, including unfair dismissal, discrimination, redundancy, equal pay and whistleblowing claims.
Think about all the things that members of a family can fall out about and multiply that – that’s your area.
Some of the biggest insolvencies have billions of pounds at stake, so there can be lucrative work for barristers.
<p>IP barristers advise on issues such as infringement disputes, issues on validity of registered IP rights, and commercial agreements that deal either exclusively with IP rights or with IP rights in the wider context of larger commercial transactions.</p>
When parties from different jurisdictions come into conflict over commercial relationships, they may decide that arbitration is the best method of resolution.
Landlord & tenant/housing
<p>Housing/landlord and tenant law encompasses all aspects of residential and commercial tenancies covering issues like disrepair, human rights and succession.</p>
Personal injury law falls under the law of tort and involves civil claims brought to obtain compensation for injuries.
Planning law regulates the way property owners use and develop their property in the interests of the wider community.
Clinical negligence is a type of professional liability involving disputes between patients and healthcare providers.
<p>Property law (now sometimes labelled as ‘real estate’) embraces a wide range of work, including ‘real property’ such as contracts for sale, covenants and land registration, trusts over land; and commercial and residential tenancies involving issues as diverse as disrepair, possession claims, succession and assignment. </p>
Whether it’s EU-originated, domestic or an industry code of conduct, regulation affects all aspects of civil life and commercial activity.