Introduction of Social Mobility Bursaries

The Chancery Bar Association (ChBA) and The Inns of Court College of Advocacy (ICCA) are delighted to announce a new Bursary Scheme to support students on its Bar Course.

Inevitably some ICCA students face difficulties in taking up an offer of a place on the Bar Course because of the cost. These are often students from ‘non-traditional’ backgrounds, who are considered underrepresented at the Bar and at the Chancery Bar in particular.

To address this problem, bursaries funded by the ChBA over the next few years will be awarded to promote access to and encourage diversity in the ICCA Bar Course and the profession as a whole. It is envisaged that the scheme will run until at least 2028.

Those applying to commence their studies with the ICCA from September 2023 onwards are eligible to be considered for a bursary of up to one-third off the ICCA’s Bar Course and, in exceptional cases, for direct payment of an equivalent amount.

This bursary is aimed at those who have:

  • a demonstrable commitment to Chancery work;
  • significant financial difficulty taking up a place on the ICCA Bar Course without a bursary; and
  • a background that is under-represented at the Bar generally, or at the ChBA in particular.

The ChBA is donating a lump sum of £100,000 in line with its object of promoting and enhancing the legal education and training of those practising or intending to practise at the Chancery Bar. It is hoped that other specialist bar associations will, in due course, offer their support.

Andrew Twigger KC, Chair of the The Chancery Bar Association, states that
“The ChBA is committed to taking positive action to improve diversity at the Chancery Bar and to attract individuals from currently under-represented backgrounds to become, and to thrive as, members of the profession. It is hoped that this innovation will attract wider support and provide a means of entry into the profession for talented individuals who might otherwise be unable to afford it.”

Lynda Gibbs KC (Hon), Dean of the ICCA, states that
“ICCA applicants can apply for a Chancery Bar Bursary at the same time as submitting their application for a place on the Bar Course. We are privileged to be the beneficiary of such generosity on the part of The Chancery Bar Association and thrilled that some of our students will be deserving recipients of an award.”

Further information on the application process and the details of the Bursary Scheme can be found on the ICCA website by clicking here.

The ICCA Bar Course
The ICCA Bar Course was launched in 2020 with generous funding from the four Inns of Court. Delivered in two parts, the course enables students to study flexibly and in a more affordable way. Part One of the course is an online experience of outstanding quality which has produced a pass rate of 93% across the last six sittings of BSB exams. Part Two is delivered within the Inns of Court in their prestigious teaching spaces. Students enjoy the benefits of small group classes, excellent teaching and additional opportunities to learn about vulnerable witnesses, expert evidence and trauma-informed practice. It provides students with the grounding to start pupillage with confidence and well-developed practitioner skills. 93% of ICCA students who successfully graduated in August 2021 have a pupillage.

The Chancery Bar Association
The Chancery Bar Association is one of the longest established Bar Associations and represents the interests of some 1,400 members handling the full breadth of Chancery legal work at all levels of seniority, both in London and throughout England and Wales. It is recognized by the Bar Council as a Specialist Bar Association. Chancery work is that which was traditionally dealt with the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice but, from 2 October 2017 has been dealt with principally by the Business and Property Courts (“B&PCs”), which sit in London, and in regional centres outside London. The B&PCs attract high profile, complex and, increasingly, international disputes. Our members offer specialist expertise in advocacy, mediation and advisory work including across the whole spectrum of company, financial, property and business law. As advocates, members are instructed in all courts in England and Wales, as well as abroad.