3VB boosts pupillage awards to £60,000

As the war for talent at the bar wages on, 3 Verulam Buildings has become the latest set to announce it will be raising its pupillage award for 2011 by a whopping 41 per cent.

The set, which triggered the last chambers pay battle in 2006, has confirmed it will pay students beginning pupillage October 2011 a payment of £60,000 – up from £42,500 in the previous year.

Pupillage secretary Adam Kramer said: “The rise is regrettable because it may be seen by some people as counter to the financial difficulties that law firms and other people have found themselves in recently. But we have to set rates that compete with other sets.”

The news comes after Four New Square announced it would be raising its pupillage award from its current £50,000 to £60,000 for its 2011/2012 intake.

Elsewhere Fountain Court has set its pupillage awards for both 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 intakes at £60,000.

In August One Essex Court shocked the market by announcing that it would boost its pupillage award by 33 per cent from £45,000 to £60,000 for its October 2010 intake.

Kramer added that although some might see the rise in cash as unfair, it did have “one silver lining”.

“The rise could make things more attractive to wider access applications because if students do secure a pupillage the money could go towards paying off their debts.”

In a separate development 3 Verulam Buildings has appointed Ali Malek QC as its new head of chambers.

Malek takes over from joint heads of chambers Christopher Symons QC and John Jarvis QC who have led the set for 11 years.