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BJ Barristers deliver double-digit growth

2 December 2020

BJ Barristers, Browne Jacobson’s advocacy arm, has announced fee income growth of 18 per cent to £1.8m for the 2019-20 financial year as it celebrates its 10th year of offering full barrister pupillages this month.

Launched in 2010, the success of its pupillage scheme has been a significant contributor to its growth during which the team has also expanded from 3 to 20 strong, with 10 full time barristers.

Pupillages have traditionally been offered through Chambers but under the Access to Justice Act 2000 law firms were authorised to host full pupillages and Browne Jacobson became one of the first law firms nationally to do so. Since it became an accredited Pupillage Training Organisation in 2010, BJ Barristers has taken on nine pupils to full qualification.

The team of specialist, qualified barristers each have their own burgeoning court practices and are managed professionally by a Lead Clerk with over 15 years’ experience in Chambers.

Fiona Butler, Head of BJ Barristers, said:

“Our decision to offer an in-house pupillage scheme a decade ago was a game changer and one of the key drivers behind our growth.

“We are structured and operate no differently from a traditional Chambers but have the added advantage of also being aligned to a national powerhouse.

“This enables us to take a more structured and efficient approach to supporting the firm’s clients by working hand in glove with our solicitor colleagues at the outset of a case.”

Ben Bentley, Barrister and Manchester based Partner, added:

“Over the years we have gained a reputation for being a centre of excellence for pupil training, enabling us to attract and retain the very best talent.

“However there remains a widely held preconception that a career as a barrister is only for the privileged few and we are keen to dispel that.

“Building on Browne Jacobson’s pioneering work with legal apprenticeships, we are working with the Bar Standards Board to develop an accredited Bar Apprenticeship route to qualification to attract aspiring barristers from under-represented backgrounds to the profession.”

In November Browne Jacobson was named as one of the UK's leading employers for promoting social mobility by the Social Mobility Foundation.

BJ Barristers act for over 60 insurance clients, and in excess of 150 local authorities and a number of government bodies and healthcare organisations with clients including the Teaching Regulation Agency, NHS England and Hiscox, amongst others.

High profile cases have included a number of Serious Case Review deaths including those of Amber Peat and Fiona Pilkington involving social services and mental health providers, advising NHS England on the largest patient recall in the history of the NHS following dental whistle-blower concerns, regulatory prosecution of the headteacher who employed one of the London Bridge attackers to teach in a school and securing the first ever FGM order in the High Court on behalf of an education provider.

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