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I was one of those students who found lots of different legal subjects interesting. So my top priority was to find a Chambers that would keep my horizons open. I wanted the opportunity to do interesting cases in diverse areas of the law. Looking through the online legal directories and chambers websites, Blackstone quickly rose to the top of my wishlist.

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Ajay Ratan

My mini-pupillage at Blackstone confirmed my initial impression. I spent the week working on a case about the difference between public law unlawfulness and private law liability for damages in tort. That tricky intersection captured perfectly the diversity of subject matter I was after. What is more, people in chambers went out of their way to welcome me in a friendly and unstuffy way.

Unsurprisingly, I accepted my pupillage offer from Blackstone without hesitation. The topic of pupillage is covered well elsewhere but I add a couple of personal observations. I particularly appreciated how Blackstone introduced me to the other prospective pupils a year before we all started. This give us time to meet up and get to know each other in a relaxed way before starting pupillage. More generally, I found the process to be transparent, even-handed and humane.

Happily both of the features that drew me towards Blackstone at the outset—the diversity and quality of work and the friendly atmosphere around chambers—have continued into life as a junior tenant. 

"Happily both of the features that drew me towards Blackstone at the outset—the diversity and quality of work and the friendly atmosphere around chambers—have continued into life as a junior tenant."

As for the variety of work, a couple of illustrations. First, I acted for a union and its members who provided information to the Peter Clarke investigation into Islam in Birmingham schools following the ‘Trojan Horse’ letter. We successfully intervened in disciplinary proceedings in which the disciplinary panel had ordered disclosure of 50 interview transcripts from the Peter Clarke investigation. The disciplinary panel reconsidered its decision, accepted the union’s evidence and my submissions regarding the confidential character of the interview transcripts, and narrowed its disclosure order from covering 50 transcripts to only four. I was sole counsel and the case was covered in the local and national press. Second, to give a commercial example, I recently did a trial about a television station raising a variety of conflict of laws questions about estoppel and abuse of process. I was working with a leading silk in Chambers and the counsel team for other side included one of the professors who had taught me at university. These two examples give a snapshot of the wide variety of interesting work available right from the start of practice at Blackstone.

As for the social side of chambers, I’ve found members of chambers at all levels to be welcoming and supportive. Chambers gatherings range from casual trips for fish and chips to slightly swankier Christmas and summer parties; I can say hand on heart that they are genuinely good fun.  

Clerks

Staff