Kalisher Alumni

Many individuals supported by Kalisher – whether by way of scholarship, essay prize, advocacy tuition or mentoring – have gone on to obtain coveted pupillages and tenancies. Chambers which count Kalisher alumni amongst their tenants include Doughty Street, 9-12 Bell Yard, 2 Hare Court, QEB Hollis Whiteman, 5 Pump Court, Arden Chambers, Albion Chambers, Guildhall and 18 St John Street. In addition, Kalisher has inspired thousands of school children through its educational outreach programme, demonstrating the skills of a barrister and how they can be adapted to any situation.

Below are a few quotes from individuals who have benefited from the Kalisher Trust’s work.

Danielle Gilmour, Kalisher Alumna, 2014

I am indebted to The Kalisher Trust for its invaluable insights into some of the skills and techniques I will be required to refine throughout my career at the Bar, by way of the stunningly insightful Advocacy & Presentation Course I attended.  This fantastic team of volunteers are all experts in their fields and include some wonderfully formidable personalities; all offering the privilege of their wisdom and experience with care and efficacy in the hopes that we students are wise enough to take note and maintain such standards in practice.  They do excellent work and, to quote a recent blog post on the arduous ascent to the ‘Everest’ that is the Bar, provide essential ‘climbing equipment’ to help you on your way to the top.

Hayley Boot, Kalisher Alumna, 2013

The Kalisher advocacy and presentation training course provided me with the time and the professional support to think about the non-verbal aspects of a pupillage interview. I am sure that the Kalisher course was what made my 2013 pupillage round successful and I am very grateful to the Kalisher Trust for helping me to begin my career at the Bar.

Merry van Woodenberg, Kalisher Scholar 2011

When I was given an award I was stunned. Not only was the money a huge help to me (it enabled me to pay off a good chunk of the debt I had taken on to pay for my bar course) but it gave me a much-needed confidence boost. It showed me that I did have ‘promise in a career at the Criminal bar’, and that I had as much chance as anyone of securing pupillage. Knowing that the panel saw a future for me at the Bar enabled me to be determined in carving that future out for myself.

I think the work of the Trust is so essential that, now I am a tenant, I am Secretary to the Trust so that I can help to ‘give back’ to the institution that helped me so much.

Merry has been a tenant at 9-12 Bell Yard Chambers since 2015.

Tim Naylor, Kalisher Scholar, 2010

The Kalisher Scholarship was an amazing assistance to me in pursuing my dream of being a criminal barrister. I was able to enter pupillage, albeit still in considerable debt, but not immediately anxious about how to cover loan payments and the next set of monthly bills.  I can’t thank those who donate and those who work tirelessly fundraising for the Trust enough.

Tim is now a tenant at QEB Hollis Whiteman.

William Hotham, Kalisher Scholar, 2009

The benefits of this supreme accolade have been substantial. Firstly, in covering the costs of the Bar Vocational Course, the Kalisher Scholarship has significantly eased the financial burden I face now and that potential burden I face in the early years of my career. Secondly, the significant endorsement from the distinguished trustees that is encapsulated in such an eminent scholarship has further bolstered my conviction – and doubtlessly that of prospective Chambers – that now I am properly qualified to confidently succeed in a pupillage and beyond.

William is a barrister at 6 Pump Court

Tom Stevens, Kalisher Scholar, 2008

I am hugely thankful for the invaluable assistance the Kalisher scholarship has given me.

Tom now practises from Doughty Street.

Deborah Smithies, Cloth Fair Scholar, 2008

I was a grateful recipient of the Cloth Fair Scholarship in 2008.  I very much hope to be able to make a contribution of my own to the Kalisher Trust in the future.

Deborah Smithies was the Cloth Fair Scholar in 2008 and now practises from KBW Chambers in Leeds.

Brendan O’Leary, Kalisher Scholar 2007

Brendan O’Leary was awarded the Kalisher Scholarship in 2007 and is now an established criminal practitioner at 18 St. John Street in Manchester.

James Haskell, Kalisher Scholar, 2004

James now practises from Guildhall Chambers in Bristol, specialising in criminal law.

Lucy Leader, Kalisher Scholar, 2002

The scholarship confirmed that I could expel the perception that the Bar was only open to those from a more privileged background. As a proud member of the working class from the Welsh valleys communities, I had doubted whether I could ever have a career at the Bar. The scholarship opened doors, alleviated the inevitable financial strain and gave me the confidence to believe that I was welcome in a profession that is in reality both diverse and inclusive.

Lucy won the scholarship whilst undertaking the BVC at Cardiff University. She was called to the Bar in October 2002 and practises from Angel Chambers in Swansea, specialising in Family, Employment and Civil Law.

Andrew Sugarman
Andrew Sugarman

Andrew Sugarman, Kalisher Scholar, 2001

I am not quite sure how I would have survived without the Scholarship. I was very surprised to find that I had been successful and that I was to be presented with the award by the Lord Chief Justice at the Old Bailey.

Andrew studied the BVC at the Inns of Court School of Law and is now practising from Parklane Plowden Chambers in Leeds.

David Chidgey
David Chidgey

David Chidgey, first ever Kalisher Scholar, 2000

Receiving the Kalisher Scholarship still ranks as one of the high points in my professional life. To be told, when you are on the verge of going to the bank, that you are going to be able to afford the cost of the bar course without incurring further debt is very uplifting. When I was told that I had the scholarship I was also told that I was not to tell anyone. Feeling as chuffed as I did that was a real challenge. I will always be thankful for the generosity of Michael Kalisher QC, those who administer the trust and those who donated to it.  Of course the greater danger is that only those who can afford to will apply. I hope that the encouragement and support that I was given will continue to be given to others.

David won the Kalisher Scholarship whilst at Nottingham Law School in 2000, and practises from Albion Chambers in Bristol, specialising in criminal work and asset forfeiture proceedings. He is the author of the Forfeiture section in Jordan’s “Magistrates’ Courts Criminal Practice.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *