Want to work part-time? Barristers who are returning to practice, or wanting to work part-time, and those in need of greater flexibility over their diary are all most welcome.
In addition to this, we are looking for confident and ambitious people with a positive vision of their future, who can see what they want their practice to look like in 3-5 years' time and, more importantly, can understand and demonstrate precisely how they are going to achieve that, with our help.
We want people who share our enthusiasm and drive to develop their businesses. People who are genuinely committed to our high standards of client care, who are able to show that they appreciate the work they receive by going the extra mile for their clients, both lay and professional. People who are comfortable marketing themselves in different ways, who are able to network confidently both offline and online. We are looking to work with people who can see opportunities, appreciate their importance, and act on them; people who are swift and effective communicators, who are flexible to the demands of the market and who see practice development as a way of life rather than as an occasional necessity.
Our selection critieria
Essentially, if you have a valid Practising Certificate to practice at the bar in England and Wales, you are welcome to apply.
We will consider applications for membership as against the BSB Professional Statement.
As regulated individuals, all of our members have demonstrated and developed the competencies in the Professional Statement to at least the threshold standard. We expect our members to continue to maintain competence in accordance with Court Duties 7 and 10:
CD7 You must provide a competent standard of work and service to each client
CD10 You must take reasonable steps to manage your practice, or carry out your role within your practice, competently and in such a way as to achieve compliance with your legal and regulatory obligations
In addition, we expect our members to ensure ongoing competence so that clients continue to receive a competent standard of work and service as required by Outcome C10 of the BSB Handbook. We provide tools and services to support our members in achieving these objectives.
Given that expectation, our selection focuses on the elements in the Professional Statement which we believe are vital to being able to establish a successful practice within the Clerksroom family.
This is what we call the “nice person” test and the relevant competencies are:
2.1 Act with the utmost integrity and independence at all times, in the interests of justice, representing clients with courage, perseverance and fearlessness.
2.2 Be honest in their dealings with others.
2.3 Be aware and active in the pursuit of equality and respect for diversity, not tolerating unlawful discrimination, in themselves or others.
2.4 Ensure their work does not incur unnecessary fees.
2.5 Adopt a reflective approach to their work, enabling them to correct errors and admit if they have made mistakes.
2.6 Ensure they practise with adaptability and flexibility, by being self-aware and self-directed, recognising and acting upon the continual need to maintain and develop their knowledge and skills.
3.1 Understand and exercise their duty to act in the best interests of their client.
3.2 Understand and apply principles of team working where appropriate.
3.3 Respond appropriately to those from diverse backgrounds and to the needs and sensitivities created by individual circumstances.
3.4 Treat all people with respect and courtesy, regardless of their background or circumstances.
3.5 Where appropriate, keep clients, whether lay or professional, informed of case progress in a clear and timely manner and manage their expectations.
3.6 Demonstrate a good awareness of their additional responsibilities in cases involving direct access and litigants in person.
In addition, we also ensure that all of our members are fully dedicated to their self-employed practice and are hard-working and committed, motivated and reliable, flexible and commercially minded, IT literate and comfortable marking themselves.
These criteria relate to the following competencies in the Professional Statement:
4.1 Where appropriate, possess a strong understanding of the specific implications of being:
4.1.1 a self-employed barrister.
4.2 Possess a sufficient understanding of organisational and management skills to be able to maintain an effective and efficient practice.
4.3 Plan their personal workload and absences so as to ensure they deliver on all work commitments they have made.
4.4 Understand the organisational systems or structures within which they work, and which support their delivery of a professional service.
4.5 Maintain the confidentiality of their client's affairs, adopting secure technology where appropriate.
4.6 Exercise good time-keeping in face-to-face or telephone encounters.
4.7 Where necessary, be diligent in keeping good records and files of cases.
In circumstances where a candidate has a history of professional misconduct or disciplinary findings, the matter will be referred to the Clerksroom Board of directors. They will consider whether notwithstanding such history or findings, the candidate is able to evidence competence with the Professional Statement, compliance with the relevant provisions and that an offer of membership would not interfere with Clerksroom duties to its members to protect their work environment, ability to ensure compliance and reputation.
Naturally, we will also expect compliance with the provisions set out in the Clerksroom Service Level Agreement.
For more information on how to apply please contact Kevin Morrow on 07736 288055 or Russell Hobbs on 07972 239476 or by email using [email protected]
Membership recruitment process
If you haven’t already realised, Clerksroom is unique. We do not recruit barristers in the way that traditional Chambers do. Instead, we offer membership to the Clerksroom organisation which provides all of the support and services a self-employed barrister would need to run their practice successfully and compliantly. These services are agreed upon through a Service Level Agreement and are delivered using the very latest in our own bespoke software systems which we have spent over 20 years developing.
Barrister members of Clerksroom do not get involved in membership offers in any way. Instead, the process is undertaken through our management and clerking team. All of those involved are trained in fair and objective selection.
Through this process, we are avoiding the risk of unconscious bias and groupthink which can result from barristers wishing to recruit individuals like themselves. We believe that this process encourages applications from diverse individuals and those from groups who are usually underrepresented at the bar.
Attracting and advertising
In view of the unique membership nature of Clerksroom, we do not have a limit on our membership and as such, there are no “recruitment windows”; we are always open to applications for membership. This is stated clearly on our website and frequently communicated through social media, our newsletter and other publications we choose to advertise in.
Diversity, disability and underrepresented groups
As mentioned above, we believe that the open nature of our membership naturally invites applications from groups who are underrepresented at the bar. We actively publicise this.
We also believe that our way of working encourages applications from such candidates given that we are a virtual Chambers allowing individuals to practice wherever they choose; this is balanced by access to national offices when required. Details of the accessibility of our offices can be found here: Clerksroom Office Accessibility. Please also review our Reasonable Adjustments Policy
We have also designed our fee structure to encourage and promote flexible working as it is based on a percentage of earnings with no flat rate rent payable. This means that we can be a fully flexible Chambers with no requirements for working hours allowing complete flexibility.
Record-keeping and equality monitoring
As required by the BSB Handbook, we must maintain certain records of our membership process so that we can demonstrate compliance. All documents relating to the selection process must be retained for 12 months following the completion of the process.
The records of successful candidates must be kept throughout the duration of their membership and for at least six years afterwards.
In so far as possible, we will anonymise the information; either at the point of collection or as soon as we are able after it has been processed.
Under GDPR, the lawful basis for such processing is “Legal Obligation” as the regulatory rules set out in the BSB Handbook require us to process this data. The data will not be retained for more than 7 years and as stated, we will anonymise it as soon as possible so that it no longer contains personal data.
You can find our Data Protection Privacy Notice here.