We welcome applications from experienced lawyers wishing to transfer to the Bar. The procedure to be followed is explained below.
Some transferring qualified lawyers are exempted by the BSB from the whole of pupillage; others obtain no exemption; many are in the intermediate position of obtaining a partial exemption.
Full exemption: If you have a full exemption, i.e. you do not require to perform any period of pupillage, the position is straightforward – your application for tenancy should be made by the online form below.
No exemption: If you have no exemption, i.e. you are required to perform 12 months of pupillage, the position is again straightforward. We ask you to apply for pupillage rather than for tenancy, via https://www.pupillagegateway.com/ (the Gateway), in accordance with the published gateway deadlines. We refer you to the pupillage pages of this website for more information.
Partial exemption: If you have a partial exemption, i.e. you are required to perform 3, 6 or 9 months of pupillage, the procedure to be followed will depend on your individual circumstances.
The BSB has rules regarding the central advertisement (on the gateway system) of pupillages. The general rule is that we cannot offer any pupillage that has not been advertised in that way. The BSB has also announced that a new, mandatory, annual timetable for pupillage offers will come into place on 1 November 2020.
These rules can be waived, but the BSB has indicated that in principle the current advertising rules apply even where a partial exemption has been obtained, and that a waiver will not be granted simply on the grounds that a partial exemption has been obtained.
We will have to consider all applications individually, but the general practical upshot is as follows.
- If you are in the early years of practice, we ask you to apply for pupillage rather than tenancy, as if you held no exemption. See the “No exemption” section above. It would then be a matter of discussion and agreement as to whether, if successful, you performed only the minimum period required, or the full 12 month period.
- If you are already a very experienced practitioner, you may apply for tenancy using the online form below, and we will treat you as also applying for any necessary period of pupillage. But please be aware that, if your application is otherwise successful, we will have to apply for a waiver from the BSB’s advertising requirements for any pupillage offered outside the Gateway. Waiver applications to the BSB are expected to take about 8 weeks.
- If you are in doubt about which route is more appropriate in your case, you may wish to apply in both ways to be on the safe side, i.e. for tenancy via the online form below and (where the relevant deadlines are approaching) for pupillage via the Gateway system.
In all cases, our intention is that any pupillage offered to an experienced lateral recruit will have no impact on our regular pupillage programme via the Gateway.