Keating Chambers - True Picture

Keating Chambers

15 Essex Street,

Chambers profile

Keating Chambers is a leading commercial set. It is one of the two top construction chambers in the UK and worldwide. Keating and our members are regularly shortlisted for the top legal industry awards across construction, energy, international arbitration, professional negligence, procurement and planning. We won “Set of the Year” at both the Lawyer Awards and the Lexis Nexis Legal Awards in 2020. These awards recognised our diversity and inclusion initiatives, financial growth and dominance in the market. In addition, we were shortlisted for “Outstanding Set of the Year for Diversity & Inclusion” at the Chambers & Partners Bar Awards and won Legal Cheek’s “Best Chambers for Social Life” in 2021.

Chambers’ area of practice is dynamic and challenging. Most of our cases are contractual disputes, but principles of tort, restitution, mistake and misrepresentation frequently arise. The cases are intellectually challenging, and the complexity of the disputes requires thorough analytical skills. Cases involving members of Keating Chambers are regularly featured in The Lawyer’s “Top 20 Cases of the Year”. Chambers is based in modern premises just outside the Temple. In their first years of practice, tenants can expect earnings equivalent to those in other top sets of commercial chambers.

Type of work undertaken

Our members are involved in disputes of all shapes and sizes: from residential building works to multi-million-pound projects for the construction of airports, dams, power stations and bridges. Members of chambers have been instructed on projects such as the Olympic venues, Wembley Stadium, the Pinnacle, the Shard, the Gherkin, the Millennium Bridge, the London Eye and the Channel Tunnel. Work also includes rapidly developing areas such as IT, telecommunications, energy, planning and environment and EU law. Members act as advocates in litigation and arbitration throughout the UK. We are often instructed to act in international hearings elsewhere in Europe and throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean. A number of our members specialise in international arbitration. New and alternative methods of dispute resolution are often used and several members are frequently appointed as mediators, arbitrators and adjudicators.

Our members regularly publish books, articles and journals. Keating on Construction Contracts, the leading textbook in its field, is written and researched by current members of Chambers, along with the Construction Law Reports. We also contribute to Halsbury’s Laws of England and Chitty on Contracts.

Pupil profile

We are looking for those people who will make the best construction barristers, whatever their race, culture, gender (if any) and socio-economic background. We have made a huge effort to prepare a fair recruitment process, by making significant improvements to our selection criteria and process and by taking the best advice from specialists.

It must be emphasised that no specialist or technical knowledge of construction or engineering is required or assumed. However, a sound understanding of the principles of contract and tort law is essential. Chambers assess all applications using its own selection criteria which includes (1) intellectual ability, (2) ability to work in teams; (3) written advocacy and (4)0 oral advocacy. We emphasise that Chambers puts no limitation on the type of experiences and evidence which a candidate may rely on to demonstrate each of the criteria. Save in exceptional cases, we expect applicants to have an upper second or first class degree, whether in law or not.


Pupils are normally allocated four supervisors in the course of their 12-month pupillage. This ensures that each pupil sees a variety of work of differing levels of complexity within chambers.

Comprehensive training in the core skills is required for practice in our field. To this end, pupils are encouraged to prepare drafts of pleadings, advices, letters and other documents that their supervisor or another member of chambers is instructed to prepare. Pupils are also asked to prepare skeleton arguments for hearings. They attend conferences with clients, both in and out of chambers and, of course, hearings in court, arbitration, adjudication, and mediation.


We offer c50 unassessed mini-pupillages each year to high calibre applicants, likely to be strong candidates for pupillage in Chambers. Mini-pupillages will be 1-day in person placements between November and January or July and September but, in exceptional circumstances, we can offer virtual mini-pupillages Mini-pupillage in Keating Chambers is not a pre-requisite to an application for a pupillage. For details please see our website


We offer up to two 12-month pupillages with an award of £85,000. Of this, an advance of £25,000 is available in respect of BPC fees (incurred or to be incurred) or other expenses at the pupil’s request.

Diversity, inclusion & wellbeing
We are fully committed to equality and diversity in both recruitment and the provision of services, and all applications (be it for staff, tenants, pupils or mini-pupils) are considered on merit alone.

Most recently, in September 2022, we were delighted to launch a new social mobility scholarship in partnership with Gray’s Inn, designed to support Bar Course students from backgrounds under-represented at the Bar. The scholarship awards £15,000 to the winning candidate, and will support a Bar Student from a background under-represented at the Bar, who may not have otherwise been able to embark on this journey. We will also offer the successful applicant an unassessed mini-pupillage at Keating Chambers and mentoring.

In Summer 2022 and 2023 we collaborated with Lamb Building to host a Summer School. This enabled us to reach a wide range of students who might not have otherwise considered coming to the Commercial Bar. The events were run virtually to ensure maximum accessibility. As well as learning what it is like to practice in these areas, sessions covered pupillage applications, interview skills, advocacy and life as a pupil.

We aim to be at the forefront of gender diversity. We have a high percentage of females in Chambers across barristers and staff including a high proportion of female silks. We are signed up to the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge, which seeks to improve the profile and representation of women in arbitration, and achieve greater female arbitrator appointments. We also arrange targeted events for students to give them exposure to the Commercial Bar from the perspectives of female judges, members of Chambers and pupils, who will discuss their career highlights.

We recognise the importance of the TECBAR “BAME” Network and its efforts to enhance inclusion, participation and progression at the Technology and Construction Bar. We have supported this by hosting CV workshops in Chambers to provide support and encouragement to ethnic minorities considering a career at the Bar, and two Keating barristers were involved in authoring The Specialist Commercial Bar & Black Inclusion – First Steps Report. In 2020 we were pleased to announce ourselves as founding partners of “Bridging the Bar”, supporting their mission to ensure equality of opportunity and diversity within the Bar of England and Wales at all professional levels.

We were one of the first five sets to sign up to the 10,000 Black Interns programme. This initiative aims to transform the horizons and prospects of young Black people in the United Kingdom by offering paid work experience across a wide range of industries. The aim is to provide training and development opportunities and to create a sustainable cycle of mentorship and sponsorship for the Black community.

We have also adopted a contextual recruitment system for our pupillages, mini-pupillages and senior staff recruitment, which will improve our approach to secure people in Chambers from diverse backgrounds who might be disadvantaged by the traditional means of recruitment.

This Firm's Rankings in
UK Guide, 2023

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