While our main source of new tenants is from our pupils, we have, in recent years, also admitted as tenants many experienced practitioners from elsewhere who have excelled in areas of work compatible with those we are seeking to develop in the context of our business planning.
Even when we are not actively recruiting experienced practitioners, we have a procedure in place to deal confidentially with unsolicited applications from such a source and will always give serious consideration to high quality candidates.
Equality & Diversity Policy
All recruitment of tenants, from whatever source, is conducted in a way to be fully compliant with the terms of our Equality & Diversity Policy.
Tenancy Recruitment For Pupils
The procedures we follow for considering tenancy for our pupils is set out in the pupillage section of this site.
Tenancy Recruitment: Experienced Practitioners
Recruitment goals are established by Chambers as a whole in the context of supporting the achievement of the aims set out in Chambers’ Business Plan. It is then for the Head of each Practice Group in consultation with the Head of Recruitment to recommend how to achieve those goals.
All applications for tenancy should be addressed to the relevant Head of Practice Group who are:
If, for any reason, it is not obvious whom of the above should be addressed, then the application should be addressed to the Head of Recruitment who is Stuart Wright.
The Head of Annexe, Simon Sinnatt, and the Head of Recruitment will be kept informed about all applications for tenancy. The latter will be responsible for ensuring that the applications are considered fully and fairly in accordance with the procedures set out below. All applications, whether in response to an advertisement or otherwise, should comprise a covering letter and a full CV (including the names of at least two referees of whom at least one should be able to vouch for the candidate’s skills as an advocate). Referees will NOT be contacted without the prior permission of the applicant.
If we have a specific vacancy for an experienced practitioner, we shall advertise that fact in Counsel Magazine and, as may be appropriate, in any other legal or trade journal and/or the national press. The advertisement will set a clear deadline for applications and will expressly refer to Chambers Equality & Diversity Code and the intention to comply with its provisions.
The relevant Head(s) of Practice Group will consider all applications received and will recommend to the Management Committee which of the applicants should be taken to the next stage and be interviewed. The Recruitment Procedures below will apply.
The relevant Head of Practice Group will initially assess any unsolicited application in consultation as may be necessary with the Head of Recruitment, Head of Annexe and any other relevant Member and decide whether the application is sufficiently strong to take forward bearing in mind the business objectives of Chambers and the level of the candidate’s skills and experience. If the Head of Practice Group declines an application at this stage, his/her decision is reported to the Chambers Management Committee. In the event of any doubt about the response to such an application the Committee will make a decision and the applicant will be informed of the situation without delay.
If the Head of Practice Group considers that the application is worthy of further consideration, he/she will report this to the Management Committee and will consult in confidence those Members of Chambers who would be most interested in the recruitment eg other Members of a similar seniority and practising in the same areas of law. If the consensus remains positive then the following Recruitment Procedures will apply.
Once it has been agreed that an applicant should be interviewed (whether the application was in response to an advertisement or was unsolicited), the following procedures will apply.
A preliminary interview will be conducted by a panel of Members drawn from the relevant Practice Group(s) with as many Members as are considered necessary having regard to the area of practice and seniority of the applicant. The Head of Recruitment will also normally sit as a member of this panel. The application may, at this stage, be declined or a recommendation made that it proceed to the next step.
If the preliminary interviewing panel consider that the applicant should go forward, then the Head(s) of the relevant Practice Group(s) will next consult the Head of Annexe and Members of Chambers generally on a confidential basis on the potential ramifications of the possible recruitment of the applicant.
After such consideration, the applicant will be invited to meet the Head of Annexe, the Chambers Director and the Brighton Senior Clerk to discuss his or her application. At this stage, a copy of the applicant’s work diary for a 12-month period, and financial records of receipts, fees billed and aged debt for the last two years will be disclosed to the Head(s) of the relevant Practice Group(s) and to the Chambers Director and Senior Clerk. That information is to be treated with considerable care so as to maintain its confidentiality as far as reasonably practicable.
Thereafter, the Head(s) of the relevant Practice Group(s) will liaise with the Head of Annexe and Head of Recruitment, the Chambers Director and Senior Clerk and the relevant Practice Group members to decide whether to recommend to the Management Committee that the application should proceed to the next stage.
If the Management Committee agrees to proceed, the final stage of the interview process will be an event when all Members of Chambers will be encouraged to meet and talk to the applicant. The CV will be available in advance for all to see together with a brief note about the application subject to the continuing need for confidentiality.
Following feedback from the event, and after taking up references (with the prior agreement of the applicant), the application will be placed before a full Chambers meeting at which a decision will be made based upon an assessment of the candidate measured against the selection criteria set out below.
The applicant will always be notified of the likely timescale for the processing of his or her application. At all stages, the need to treat any application with discretion and confidentiality will be adhered to.
Criteria for the recruitment of tenants who are not pupils or third six months’ pupils:
- An analytical mind;
- Intellectual ability;
- An ability to express ideas clearly and persuasively, both in writing and orally;
- An ability to think under pressure;
- A commitment to hard work;
- An organised approach to work;
- A capacity to understand and to show understanding of the needs and problems of those for whom and with whom they work;
- Good interpersonal skills.