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About Harcourt Chambers

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Harcourt Chambers is a thriving family law set with a rich tradition of attracting and developing the strongest emerging legal talent. It is home to six well-known family silks (John Vater QC, Nicholas Goodwin QC, Damian Garrido QC, Aidan Vine QC, Edward Devereux QC and Jonathan Sampson QC) and two door tenants (Karl Rowley QC and Julia Cheetham QC). With premises in the Temple and Oxford, Harcourt serves a wide geographical area: principally across London, the South East and the Midlands, but also further afield. This provides opportunities for a varied and progressive practice.

Recognised as a leading family law set in London and the South East by Legal 500 and the Chambers UK Guide to the Legal Profession, Harcourt undertakes the full range of family finance, children and international family law work Harcourt has a well-established reputation within the field of children law: encompassing public and private law arenas and international children’s cases; providing representation to parents, local authorities, extended family members, children, prospective adopters and agencies such as the Official Solicitor and the police. The strong family finance and property team undertakes matrimonial, cohabitee and civil partnership litigation. Further areas of expertise include: trusts, wills and inheritance disputes, divorce, nullity, Court of Protection cases, forced marriage, domestic violence and harassment. Members of Harcourt are often instructed in cases which are reported in the law reports and by the media and regularly give lectures and chair seminars. They have written text-books on pensions, contact, relocation, and adoption and contribute to leading publications, such as Butterworths Family Law Service and Jordans Family Law .

Harcourt was named “Family Set of the Year” by Chambers UK Bar Awards in 2016 and was awarded “Family Set of the Year (London)” at the Lexis Nexis Family Law Awards in 2018. Dr Rob George (who completed his pupillage in Chambers in March 2015) was awarded the “International Lawyer of the Year” and “The Family Case of the Year” at the Family Law Awards in 2020. In 2021 Harcourt has been short-listed in the Family Law Awards for Family Law Case of the Year, Family Law Chambers of the Year (London), Family Law QC of the Year and Family Law Young Barrister of the Year.

Members of Harcourt include part-time deputy High Court judges, criminal, civil and family recorders, deputy district judges, tribunal judges and university lecturers and members have sat on the national committee of the FLBA. Past members of Harcourt have been appointed to the High court and Court of Appeal.

Many of Harcourt's members accept Public Access instructions and there is a growing ADR practice encompassing family arbitration, private ​financial dispute resolution hearings, early neutral evaluation and mediation.

Type of work undertaken by pupils

Pupillage comprises family work (children, international and finance cases) and pupils can expect to attend Court hearings very regularly with their pupil supervisors (either remotely or in person) and in their own right in the second six months. They will undertake written exercises, drafting and legal research. Harcourt funds attendance on compulsory advocacy courses.

Structure of pupillage

Pupillage is divided between three supervisors in four month periods allowing the opportunity to see different work and practice styles whilst ensuring that a pupil is strongly supported and has continuity with their pupil supervisor during the transition to ‘second six’. Additional support is provided to pupils before and during their pupillages by junior members of Harcourt under a “buddy system”. Pupils spend time with other members of Chambers to experience a variety of work, including Court of Appeal and Supreme Court cases. Towards the end of their first six months, pupils will accompany junior tenants so that they can experience the type of work they will undertake in their second six month practicing period.

Harcourt is committed to supporting its pupils achieve their potential through a friendly, supportive and inclusive environment. As well as receiving support from their supervisors and buddies, pupils are fully included in the life of chambers and can expect to be invited to internal chambers events, events for clients and well-being initiatives.


Harcourt is expanding and is committed to recruiting internally from its own pupils where possible, with a very high success rate over the years.

Application Details

Applicants must apply through the Pupillage Gateway system. Minimum 2:1 degree. We will consider candidates with lower grades where there are genuine extenuating circumstances and evidence of other outstanding attributes in their applications. Student visits are not available.

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