Mini Biographies – Daniel, 2010 call
What set Fountain Court apart for me was the impression I gained from my mini -pupillage of a big chambers with a relaxed atmosphere. Doors are always open if you have any questions, and there is a daily lunch attended by members. One of the advantages of pupillage at Fountain Court is that, during the first couple of months, you only work for your supervisor and the work is not assessed. I found this a really valuable time to get to know chambers and the type of work expected of me.
From December onwards, I worked for my supervisor and other members of chambers doing a real mixture of work, from drafting relatively short pleadings to producing research notes on points of law and advice on the merits of claims. I also accompanied members to court and meetings with clients. There is no competitive advocacy or hypothetical written assessments; all of the work I did was on real cases. It was also good to know that the pupils were not in competition with each other. We all got on really well. I received verbal feedback from my pupil supervisor and from members I worked for, and they submitted feedback forms to the Pupillage Committee. There are at least two formal reviews during the year to discuss how you are progressing. The tenancy decision is taken in June. In my year all three of us were offered tenancies. There is a strong desire to expand the junior field within Chambers.
Now I am a tenant, my time is divided between large cases in which I am led by more senior members of chambers and smaller trials/applications in the County Courts and High Courts. The clerks work hard to ensure plenty of good advocacy opportunities for junior tenants and I am in court on average around twice a week. There are also opportunities to go on secondment in London and overseas. Another junior tenant is currently in Singapore, having spent last winter in the Caribbean. Chambers also regularly organises events to allow new tenants to develop the relationships with instructing solicitors. Most importantly there remains a very good supply of interesting and varied work and, if difficult, I am secure in the knowledge that other members’ doors are always open if I have any questions.