Exchange Chambers increases pupil numbers in Leeds

February 9, 2022

Exchange Chambers has continued its fast-paced expansion in Leeds by welcoming two new pupils.

Criminal pupil Rhianydd Clement (supervised by Victoria Smith Swain) and common law pupil, Zarreen Alam-Cheetham (supervised by Alfred Weiss) are the latest pupils to join Exchange.

In total, Exchange now has four pupils in Leeds with criminal pupil Emily Hassell (supervised by Stephen Grattage) and common law pupil Jack Scott (supervised by Paul Kirtley) joining the Set last year.

Commenting on her pupillage, Zarreen Alam-Cheetham said:

“I’ve known since I was 10-years-old that I wanted to be a barrister after my mum took me to a Crown Court open day and I sat on the Judge’s bench in a wig and a gown. When I was 14, I did work experience at Exchange Chambers. I’ve wanted to join ever since!”

Continued Zarreen:

“I would describe myself as from a non-traditional background.

“By that I mean that I went to state school and was the first generation in my family to go to university.

“My mum came to this country as a refugee having been expelled from Uganda by Idi Amin.

“When I was 12, my mum fell ill and had to stop work. With one parent on incapacity benefit, my Dad re-mortgaged the house and I worked full time to fund my studies.

“It has been a long journey to secure pupillage, but it’s been worth the wait.”

Commenting on her pupillage, Rhianydd Clement said:

“I am thrilled to have started my criminal pupillage at Exchange Chambers in Leeds. Chambers has a real focus on ensuring a high-quality pupillage and also a high-quality experience for tenants, and I am excited to be a part of that environment. I am also proud to be part of a set that actively drives for equality and diversity at the Bar and I look forward to supporting Chambers with their projects.”

Fellow pupil Jack Scott will be ‘on his feet’ from 1 March 2022 having completed his ‘first six’.  Jack switched careers to the Bar having previously run numerous charities and worked in the public sector and with solicitors.  Commenting on life as a pupil at Exchange, he said:

“The clerks have gone out of their way to help and make sure I am seeing interesting cases – in my first few days I was at a complicated inquest and at the Royal Courts of Justice.

“Exchange prides itself on its progressive values and modern approach to well-being. I feel so privileged to be part of such an authentic set that puts its values in to action in this way. The whole team is invested in your success and wants you to thrive.”

Welcoming Exchange’s new pupils, Ian Spencer, Chambers Director in Leeds said:

“Our new pupils all have a bright future ahead of them.  There couldn’t be a better environment in which to hone their skills and develop an outstanding career at the Bar.”

Exchange Chambers launched its pupillage academy in 2020, with one of the largest annual intakes of pupils by a barristers’ Chambers.

The Northern powerhouse, based in Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester, provides 6 pupillages every year covering crime, commercial and common law.

Chief Executive, Jonathan I’Anson said:

“It is an exciting time to join Chambers.

“Our pupillage academy ensures pupils receive the best possible start to life at the Bar. Everything is in place to bring on the next generation of talent.”