4KBW is a dynamic civil law set of barristers’ chambers based in the Temple.Chambers prides itself on delivering excellence in all areas of service. Our tenants are dedicated to applying the vast range of their knowledge in the representation of their clients’ interests, from skilled advisory work and tenacious negotiation to meticulous drafting and fearless advocacy.
Here at 4KBW our barristers have unrivalled experience and a plethora of expertise. Our focus remains on corporate civil law work spanning Insolvency, Aviation, Commercial and Chancery, to name a few. As one of the UKs finest sets of chambers, 4KBW undertakes some of the most commercially cutting edge advisory and litigation work; we hold ourselves to the highest standards but maintain a friendly atmosphere.
What do we look for in a candidate?
The ideal candidate should possess great intellectual ability, be highly motivated to undertake a large commercial work load and must have exceptional communication skills both written and oral, with a particular ability to examine legal problems. We search for candidates who are driven and motivated to pursue a career at the commercial bar.
Mini pupillages are a crucial part of our application process and Chambers' ethos. For individuals interested in acquiring further experience of the Bar, commercial work, and Chambers in particular. Completing a Mini-Pupillage at 4KBW will be an invaluable experience. Here at 4KBW we offer mini-pupillages of 3 or 5 days duration throughout the legal year. A mini-pupil typically spends time with several different members of Chambers and can expect to attend court, mediation/tribunal hearings or conferences. In addition, there will be an opportunity to revise legal paperwork and complete legal research. Generally mini-pupillages are not assessed. They represent an opportunity for the mini-pupil to get a better idea of the practice and people of 4KBW.
I have completed a five-day mini-pupillage at 4 Kings Bench Walk, Chambers of Lawrence Power, in August 2017. During these five very interesting days I got an insight into court proceedings and the structure of a hearing, a barrister's role in court and different styles of advocacy. Being set on a career in commercial law and having done a fair amount of work experience in law firms already, this was my first ever mini-pupillage and the first opportunity to experience first-hand the work of a barrister. I cannot thank chambers enough for this amazing opportunity!
With a particular interest in the procedural aspects of a hearing, I spent most days of my mini-pupillage in London and Greater London county courts shadowing two different barristers. The work Matthew and Mina were involved in was mostly civil cases, many of them road accidents, each being very different from another. Some would focus on causation, others would focus on quantum and often the issue of credit-hire. Sometimes, CCTV would be provided; most of them lacked CCTV and largely depended on the statements made. Some would involve minors.
Having spent my morning in court, I then used the afternoon to read through the bundles for the next day, often combined with little tasks. As I was very much fascinated by cross-examination and the best way to cross-examine the other party's witness from the first day, I was given tasks linked to that. On the completion of every task, I would always have the chance to talk through my results with a barrister and get feedback on my work. In addition to that, I was asked to do some legal writing.
On the Thursday of my mini-pupillage, I had the chance to sit in the public gallery of the Old Bailey. Having studied criminal law in my first year and studying CPE in the second year of my studies, this was absolutely fascinating. I sat in two cases: one murder trial and one section 47 OAPA 1861 trial.
Due to a tour around Temple and the possibility to always ask questions, I got a good feel for the working environment of a barrister and the particularities of the profession.
I am absolutely grateful for the very welcoming atmosphere at chambers and would like to thank the individual barristers and Lawrence Power in particular for answering all my questions and for their time and effort, and Rob and John for making sure everything went so smoothly. I truly enjoyed my mini-pupillage and very much hope to come back!
Having never stepped in a law firm never mind a barrister’s chambers, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I arrived at 4KBW for a four-day mini-pupillage. What I found was an extremely friendly yet professional atmosphere, and I would like to thank everyone for making me feel so welcome.
Day one began with Matthew, a pupil in Chambers, taking me on a tour of some of the courts in London. As I live in Mid Wales and study at the University of Birmingham, this was the first opportunity I had had to visit the Royal Courts of Justice and the Rolls Building. The tour put into perspective how the courts mentioned in various law reports we are required to read as law students really are not that distant as they seem. It was also interesting to see the contrast between the procedures of the various courts. For example, in the Rolls Building where some cases are over in seconds.
The tour ended and I headed straight to the County Court at Clerkenwell and Shoreditch to spend the afternoon sitting in on a road traffic accident claim. The case was due to start at 12:00pm but was delayed to later in the afternoon. The client and I headed to a local café to have lunch in the meantime – something unique to my mini-pupillage I’m sure. This case allowed me to pick up on some things that barristers do in their day-to-day lives that I did not expect to see, such as not standing up when addressing the judge. Following the case I had the opportunity to ask questions on what I had just witnessed, my thanks go to Helen for answering them.
The next morning was spent in Chambers, reading the papers for the costs and case management hearing to be attended later in the afternoon. Having the opportunity to read the bundle beforehand allowed me to see the relationship between barrister and lawyer, and the process that leads up to attending court. The clinical negligence case was not only relative to my current studies but also showed how much each court can vary, from the kindness of the judge to the way in which barristers advocate. I would like to thank Christopher for his help that afternoon.
I got an insight into a completely new area of law on the third day. Despite having no knowledge of aviation law, I had no difficulty in diving into the case bundle in front of me. I liked how it was far more technical than the two other cases I had already experienced, and I would jump at the chance to gain more experience in this area of law.
My final day in Chambers began with a visit to the Rolls building. The case I was supposed to see was adjourned, so I was allowed to sit in on a case that was of interest of me. Given that this was the day before Good Friday, there was only one possible case available (I did not realise to what extent the legal industry shut down days before a public holiday). The case was a land dispute regarding easements. Again, this opportunity allowed me to contrast various ways of advocacy and the different tolerance levels of judges of different levels.
The afternoon was spent with Lawrence, the Head of Chambers, focusing on commercial awareness. Being so focused on legal principles and cases, as a law student it is easy to forget that a barrister’s chambers is a business. I am extremely grateful that Lawrence gave me this opportunity to see chambers from a completely different point of view.
I would encourage anyone aiming for a career at the Bar to apply for a mini-pupillage at 4KBW. The four days spent in Chambers provided an excellent insight into life at the Bar. I would like to thank Rob and John for arranging a smooth and interesting mini-pupillage.
My time spent completing a mini-pupillage at chambers was a most insightful one. Not only was I exposed to many areas of the law, such as aviation and personal injury, but I learned first hand how life as a pupil, and indeed barrister, plays out.
The majority of my time was taken up with attending court with barristers. As I accompanied different ones each day I had the opportunity to witness not only different cases but different stages of the proceedings. I also learned much from the individual approaches each barrister took.
I got a taste of what the everyday life of a barrister entails, and realised how versatile and lively it can be. One day I would be in the county court, another the high court. This allowed me to see the practical application of the law in numerous scenarios.
In addition to being in court I was tasked with legal research, secretarial tasks and also some academic writing on the topic of aviation law. All of these, I learned, are too part of the work of a barrister which is not just attending court appointments.
Of course just by being present in the Temple every day I got a sense of the community there. The collegiate atmosphere was welcoming, while the evident history of the place made one feel part of an age old tradition.
I applied for the mini-pupillage in order to gain experience in the chambers but also to explore whether or not taking the bar could be a potential career path for me. I am happy to say I achieved both. After my time at chambers I now have a much clearer view of what such a career is like in reality and a better grasp on what is expected from potential pupils.
Diverse, forward thinking and approachable are the words that instantly come to mind when thinking of Chambers.
I have had an extremely informative and enjoyable week on my mini pupillage. I think being able to see the inner workings of a Chambers is essential to helping decide whether a career as a barrister is for you and being able to gain this experience in the Chambers of Lawrence Powers has been invaluable.
Not only have I learnt about how to be successful in advocacy and negotiation, but I have also had the opportunity to gain an insight of how a business operates by having a glimpse of the work of Lawrence himself.
Throughout the week I have been able to attend court visits; look into case studies and the documents that accompany these and have the opportunity to talk to the barristers that make up the Chambers about the information I have read as well as their journey into the profession.
The team working within Chambers have an extremely friendly ambience and everyone seemed keen to assist with any questions that I had during the week.
I would highly recommend this opportunity to anyone considering the Bar and would just like to take the opportunity to thank the Chambers again for their help, support and hospitality!
I have flown a few miles for a real hands-on experience. I could have never expected to learn so much in such a short time. My five-day mini pupilage at the Chambers of Lawrence Power has been incredibly enriching and useful.
Prior to immersing myself into the assignments and attending court, I was taken on a tour in the Chambers area. Amrit Dhanoa talked about her experience and how all the Barrister world works, which was very interesting.
I then went to Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court, where I was going to meet Matthew Gillet. He was involved in a road traffic case, which I had previously read and I was really motivated to observe the proceeding and the outcome. The whole process was intellectually stimulating, particularly for someone who has experience in another but close field.
In the following days, I completed various assignments including analysing a CCTV for a case , going through bundles and some legal research, which has given me the ability to put into practice some valuable skills. I was also able to sit in a a trial at the Luton Country Court.
One of the greatest moments was to spend the day at the Old Bailey, where I sat in different trials including crime, fraud and money laundering.
The whole experience was complete and insightful. I have truly appreciated the warm and welcoming ambiance. I would like to thank all the Barristers I was able to shadow, who gave their time and patience to answer my questions and explained every single detail of the cases. I would also like to thank Rob and John who were extremely helpful.
Finally, I would recommend anyone who has a strong interest in Law but particularly in becoming a Barrister whether in England or elsewhere to apply for a mini-pupillage at the Chambers of Lawrence Power.
Having had previous experience in commercial law firms, I was very much looking forward to experiencing life in a commercial chambers, to both broaden my legal experience and experience life as a barrister. I believe that my 4 KBW mini-pupillage achieved both these aims!
During my time with 4KBW, I experienced many different cases. The first of these was a case in the small claims court following a road traffic collision. This took place in Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court on the first day of my mini-pupillage; a good opportunity to get stuck in to an interesting case straight away. 4KBW allowed us to read the case papers prior to the hearing, which allowed us to understand the legal position of each party and to focus on the skills demonstrated by the barrister, Matthew Gillet. Having never been to a small claims hearing, this was an invaluable experience as it allowed us to see the more mundane work which is undertaken at the commercial bar, and in an area which will inevitably effect most people during their lives.
Another interesting case which we observed was an aviation case regarding compensation for flight delays. I have not had any experience of aviation law, which was one of the reasons that I applied to 4KBW as it is one of their areas of expertise. Given the rise in ‘high-street’ law firms whose adverts we so commonly hear on the radio, it was interesting to see a real case in practice and the conditions under which you can claim compared to what is being advertised.
One invaluable skill which I developed during my time with 4KBW was my legal research and analysis skills. During the mini-pupillage I was given the chance to read and evaluate the legal arguments in the case papers which we observed. Having the opportunity as a law student to read and evaluate skeleton arguments written by barristers is something which is invaluable to learn from, and something that rarely arises unless through a mini-pupillage. I believe that this has helped my legal studies, and something for which I am incredibly grateful. Another opportunity which I had to develop these skills was during a task given to us in regards to another road traffic incident. We were tasked with analysing CCTV of the incident, reading through the legal arguments and conducting research to help us construct answers to questions which we were given to answer.
As part of the mini-pupillage experience, we also indulged our natural curiosity for criminal law by spending a morning in the Old Bailey sitting in on a murder trial. Although I do not wish to practice criminal law, it was interesting to see the reality of a murder trial given the media portrayal of such events in both documentaries and on drama shows.
I would thoroughly recommend a mini-pupillage with 4KBW to anyone looking to gain a realistic and thorough insight in to the world of a commercial barrister. Rob and John were especially kind to us as mini-pupils, making sure that we were well kept and busy during our time with chambers. I was also thrilled to be able to spend some time with head of chambers Lawrence Power who answered some of our questions both about cases and being a barrister. It is rare that you get to spend quality time with a head of chambers, and he was more than happy to assist us. I found the experience to be vastly beneficial, and look forward to using this experience going forward.
Diana Kostina was an Inner Temple Pegasus Scholar at the Chambers in July 2018. She is a Russian lawyer, who recently graduated from the University of Cambridge LL.M. program funded by the Chevening/Cambridge Scholarship. Before that, she read International Law at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University) of the MFA of Russia, studied at the Arbitration Academy in Paris, and completed the Salzburg Law School summer course. She specializes in international law, with two years of experience at Moscow-based NGO focusing on international human rights law.
I would like to express my gratitude for my time at Whitestone Chambers. Such experiences as shadowing the Chambers' barristers at courts, doing research for a very dynamic transnational case, or drafting mock arguments for aviation disputes were particularly educative. I am thankful to the Chambers' Barristers and Legal Executives for making my placement insightful and valuable.
How to apply
Candidates are encouraged to apply for a mini-pupillage as far in advance as possible; Chambers receives many applications and spaces fill up quickly.
To apply for a mini-pupillage at 4KBW your applications it to be made in writing to chambers and include a one page covering letter and C.V no more than two pages.
Chambers of Lawrence Power
4 Kings Bench Walk