A Year in the Life of our Pupils


Laura Fitzgibbon

Pupils at Farrar’s Building have three supervisors during pupillage, each for 4 months. In the first six months of pupillage I spent my time shadowing my supervisor to court, conferences and settlement meetings, in addition to completing written work and research both for my supervisor and other members of Chambers. The nature of the work I undertook varied naturally with the practices of my supervisors. As a consequence, I have experienced a broad range of work undertaken within Chambers, including the core personal injury work of Chambers, employment law, and criminal regulatory work.

The transition into second six at Farrar’s was very smooth. Towards the end of first six, I was given the opportunity to shadow more junior members of Chambers to court to gain experience in the types of hearings I would be undertaking in my own right. The first few hearings of second six were inevitably nerve-racking but I felt well prepared and excited to start gaining practical experience on my feet. I am now kept busy attending court most days on a variety of matters, along with my own paperwork and that of my supervisor.

There were three formal assessments during pupillage, two written advices and an advocacy exercise, spread out evenly from February to July. Each was based on a current case being undertaken by a member of Chambers. We were given plenty of warning about the assessments and received detailed feedback.

The atmosphere in Chambers is genuinely friendly, professional and supportive. This atmosphere is reflected in Chambers’ inclusive and supportive attitude towards pupils, illustrated not only in the everyday willingness of members of Chambers to answer questions and discuss work, but also in the fact that pupils are involved in Chambers social and marketing events from the very beginning. This atmosphere has been instrumental in ensuring that I have been able to enjoy and utilise pupillage at Farrar’s to its fullest extent.

Having completed pupillage at Farrar’s, I am safe in the knowledge that I have been given an excellent foundation upon which to build a career at the Bar.

Laura became a tenant at Farrar’s Building on 3rd October 2017.

Tom Emslie-Smith

I arrived at Farrar’s Building fresh from the BPTC hoping to start a practice in personal injury and employment. If anything, these areas of law have been even more interesting than I expected, and I have experienced plenty of excellent work at Farrar’s throughout my 12 months.

From very early on I was learning to draft and advise in catastrophic injury cases including fatal accidents and complex clinical negligence claims. Throughout first six I was able to see advocacy at a range of different levels, from the County Court to the Court of Appeal and Employment Appeal Tribunal. I have also had the opportunity to see a number of joint settlement meetings and expert conferences, all of which helped develop an understanding of how relatively complex personal injury cases are handled.

Second Six has had me on my feet in Court virtually every day. I have had a healthy diet of trials and disposal hearings through which my advocacy has come on greatly. I have also been involved in a number of applications and procedural hearings on higher value claims, which have offered helpful insight into personal injury work at the more senior end. Chambers has been thoroughly supportive throughout, and there is very much an “open doors” ethos, with help available whenever I need it.

Farrar’s has a strong training ethic, and I have been encouraged to learn, ask questions and look for feedback while I practiced the core skills needed at the civil bar. However, I have also been handed plenty of responsibility, and have enjoyed seeing my work contributing to cases handled by more senior members of chambers. One of the things Chambers has been keen to foster is experience through pro bono work, and I was encouraged to take on a seven day Employment Tribunal case with the Free Representation Unit through which I have appeared before the Tribunal several times and written a number of advices. Overall, my experience has set me up well to begin a practice in personal injury, employment and civil litigation. For anyone aspiring to work in these areas, I can vouch for Farrar’s as a great place to start!

Tom became a tenant at Farrar’s Building on 3rd October 2017.