Recruitment Policy & Procedures
We currently have eight clerking positions in London (a Senior Clerk and seven juniors) and 6 other staff positions (one of which is currently a job-share between two secretaries).
All recruitment of staff is carried out in full compliance with the terms of our Equality & Diversity Policy. We have a diverse membership of barristers and we aim to reflect that also in a diverse composition of our staffing. If we use a recruitment agency, we ensure that its procedures are also compliant with the aims of our Equality & Diversity Policy.
When vacancies arise, we advertise the vacancy ourselves and/or brief a recruitment agency to act on our behalf, set a deadline for applications, request full CVs and covering letters from candidates (including the names of two referees), create a shortlist for interview from assessing the written applications and then conduct interviews. There is normally only one interview but, in the event that the initial interviewing panel remains uncertain, a second interview may also be held.
For Clerks, we normally obtain candidates from two sources – the list of names maintained for this purpose by the Institute of Barristers Clerks (the IBC) and through specialist recruitment agencies such as “Chambers People” and “Gill Rees Legal”. For other staff, we may advertise in the national or London press (eg The Times or Evening Standard) and/or use a relevant recruitment agency. We will always seek to verify any stated academic and vocational qualifications and, once a position has been offered, request two references.
We maintain recruitment records to enable us to monitor our performance against our Equality & Diversity Policy.
All staff have written job descriptions and are recruited on a 6-month probationary period initially. Newly appointed staff receive appraisal interviews at 3 months and 6 months into their appointment designed to assist them to meet the standards expected of them. All new staff receive a formal induction when all relevant terms and conditions of employment and procedures are explained to them.
All staff have annual staff appraisals at least once a year when their performance is assessed against targets previously set and against their job descriptions. Any staff training needs are also always discussed during appraisals. In December, the performance of all staff is appraised against their job descriptions to assess the level of “performance bonus” they will receive in addition to their salary.
Work Experience & Part-time Work
We do not offer work experience positions for schoolchildren since we do not consider the work environment in a Chambers and the types of role available conducive for this purpose. We sometimes get approached by University students for work experience roles and, if we can identify a useful role (eg to assist with a particularly heavy workload or to carry out a particular project), we may offer a short stay for this purpose. Any application for this type of role should be addressed to the Chambers Director. Any student seeking experience in Chambers primarily with a view to becoming a barrister is advised to apply for a mini-pupillage where the experience would be more relevant.