Felix Wardle, Essex Court Chambers

Name: Felix Wardle

Chambers: Essex Court Chambers

Position: 1st year tenant

Degree: Law

University: Oxford/Harvard

Studied BPTC at: BPP

Hobbies: Music, cooking, travel.

How many rounds of applications did it take to get pupillage? 1

Number of interviews attended: about 8.

Felix Wardle

Why did you decide to train as a barrister?

I did a law degree and I enjoyed mooting, so it seemed like a natural next step. I also spent some time working as a researcher at Chambers and Partners and the (numerous!) barristers that I spoke to were always extremely positive about the job.

What was the toughest pupillage interview question you were asked (at any chambers) and how did you answer?

I found the hardest interview questions to be the “problem question” style ones in which you’re given a scenario to consider (normally for a very short length of time) and then grilled about it. The final round at Monckton was particularly brutal… I can’t remember what I said; I just tried to stand my ground as much as possible.

Tell us a bit about the type of work you’re doing at the moment…

I’ve been doing quite a lot of investor state treaty arbitration work. It’s not an area which I knew a great deal about before I started at Essex Court, and so I’ve had to familiarise myself with a new area of law and procedure. I’ve enjoyed the work, not least because as the cases involve state parties, there are lots of interesting public policy questions to consider.

What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?

There are lots of enjoyable things about it, but I particularly like the independence. It’s up to me to manage my own time, which means I can work when (and where) I want. I also like the variety: it’s trite but true that no two days are the same.

What aspect of the job have you found most difficult to get to grips with?

You definitely get thrown in the deep end! You go from having a supervisor checking everything you do to being on your own in an office with your own cases. It’s quite a leap and takes time to get used to.

What about your job didn’t you expect before you started?

I started with a lot of preconceptions about which areas of law I thought would be most fun, but throughout pupillage I enjoyed all sorts of areas of law that I had never previously considered. For example, who knew that shipping law allows you to read 19th century cases involving pirates?

Who’s the most recent email in your inbox from, and what’s it about?

Nothing exciting – it’s a promotional email from “practical law”. The next email is from another junior tenant asking if I want to go for lunch. Not very thrilling, I’m afraid.

What’s your best ‘in court’ anecdote so far?

To tell the truth, I haven’t been in court a great deal and so, as of yet, I haven’t picked up any especially exciting war stories. I’m sure they will come.

Which member of chambers would you want to be on the run with in the event of a zombie apocalypse, and why?

I think one of my clerks, Ben Perry, would be a good person to be on the run with. He does ironman, runs marathons and has a shotgun licence. I’d fancy his chances against an oncoming hoard of zombies.

If you had not decided to become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?

I’ve always been interested in international relations and politics, so in another world I’d have liked to do something in that field.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career as a barrister?

Go for it! Although it can feel like a bit of a slog getting from university to tenancy, it’s very much worth the effort.

60-second interviews