4BB is a leading set of chambers specialising in criminal law

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4BB offers two funded pupillages per year. Pupils will be funded by an award of £1700 per month during their first six months of pupillage. During the second six months pupils are expected to undertake paid court work. However, due to the variable and retrospective nature of payment, Chambers provides a top-up payment each month. This insures that pupils receive a minimum of £1700 per month. Pupils are expected to cover their travel costs within London but will be reimbursed if they need to travel outside London. Chambers will pay for all compulsory courses completed by pupils during the 12 months of their pupillage.

It is difficult to estimate how much a criminal barrister will earn during the first few years of practice as this will depend upon the availability of work, how good they are and changes in funding. However this article estimates earnings of £10,000 to £40,000 in year one and £40,000 to £70,000 in year 2 (2016 figures).

Structure of Pupillage

Each pupil will have a supervisor during the first six months of pupillage and a different supervisor during the second period of pupillage. Every effort is made to ensure that pupils have an opportunity to work for other members of Chambers and so be exposed to as wide a range of work as possible. The pupillage training program combines one-to-one‘s, self-reflection and simulated written and oral assessments to ensure that pupils have the opportunity to meet all of the professional competences necessary for the successful completion of pupillage.


Chambers only accept applications for pupillage through the Pupilage Gateway (www.pupillagegateway.com)

Applicants will be shortlisted and selected by reference to the following competencies:

  1. Intellectual ability, usually judged by reference to academic achievement.
  2. Evidence of ability in advocacy or other public speaking.
  3. Evidence of commitment to criminal law, usually through relevant work experience either voluntary or paid.
  4. Evidence of enterprise or initiative that demonstrates an ability to build a practice and contribute to Chambers.

Candidates selected will be invited to attend a first round interview which includes an advocacy exercise. They may be invited to a second interview where they will be asked to perform another advocacy exercise which will be followed by a more detailed interview intended to assess the candidates in greater depth against the selection criteria.

We recommend that before you apply you consult the large body of advice available to students applying for pupillage to ensure that your application and interviews are a true reflection of your ability and potential. You may like to start with the Bar Council’s webpages but your university/training provider and Inns should also be able to help.

Probationary Tenancy and Tenancy.

Towards the end of the 12 month pupillage those pupils who wish to be considered for tenancy can apply to Chambers for a six month period of probationary tenancy. Most pupils apply for probationary tenancy. During this time they may apply for tenancy. Applications for tenancy are made to the Chambers Management Committee, which will decide if the application will be put to a vote by all Members of Chambers. Chambers has a well-established record of offering tenancies to those undertaking probationary tenancy.