The City

Tax chamber support scheme

The Tax Chamber has launched its Judicial Recruitment Support Scheme to offer targeted support for those considering an application for judicial appointment as a judge within the chamber, on either a salaried or fee-paid basis.

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The chamber welcomes applications from solicitors and groups that are currently under-represented in the judiciary. 

The scheme provides:

  • detailed information about the role of a tax judge  
  • general guidance on the Judicial Appointments Commission’s application process

Support from the scheme

The opportunities on offer through the Tax Chamber’s Judicial Recruitment Support Scheme are available separately or in combination, depending on your individual needs and circumstances.

Initial private discussion

Prospective candidates for judicial appointment are offered the opportunity for a private in-person meeting or video call with a judge to:

  • discuss the role in more detail
  • answer any initial questions  
  • consider what further support may be appropriate for the candidate

Flexible shadowing and work experience

The chamber offers candidates fully flexible options to take part in shadowing and/or unpaid judicial work experience, with a view to accommodating those from the widest range of circumstances.

Shadowing provides the opportunity to sit with a judge to observe a hearing.

You'll also have an opportunity to speak with the judge before and after the hearing to gain a deeper insight into the work of the Tax Chamber.

Extended shadowing is also available and allows candidates the possibility of shadowing several judges, spread over several days, possibly over an extended period.

Judicial work experience offers a ringside view of the trial process and first-instance decision-making from the perspective of a tax judge.

You'll be allocated a judge to facilitate your work experience and you'll be given the option, as appropriate opportunities arise, to undertake one or more of the following tasks, intended to provide candidates with valuable exposure to judicial work:

  • carrying out legal research
  • reviewing and organising bundles
  • note-taking during hearings
  • summarising documents and evidence
  • drafting responses on case management applications

These shadowing and work experience opportunities can be organised:

  • on a part-time or temporary basis
  • over a single day, a number of days or an extended period
  • with fully flexible hours, including outside business hours
  • with remote working options

Personalised terms will be agreed separately with each candidate based on your specific requirements, circumstances and availability.

Your judicial guide

Candidates joining the scheme are paired with a tax judge throughout the application process.

Your judicial guide will offer you ad-hoc, informal advice and guidance, and you can discuss your preparation with your guide at each stage of the process.

How to join the scheme

If you're interested in joining the scheme, or have any questions, email presidentsofficestax@justice.gov.uk providing your contact details.

Your contact and involvement with the scheme will be treated in strict confidence.

Who should join?

We expect the scheme to be valuable to anyone aspiring to become a tax judge, whether you've previously applied for a judicial role or not. 

You're encouraged to consider joining this scheme if you:

  • are a solicitor with at least five years' PQE
  • have a tax background
  • meet the legally qualified eligibility criteria for judicial appointment

If you have an interest or background in tax but you do not meet the eligibility criteria, you can still contact the chamber to discuss shadowing opportunities, which can be arranged outside the scheme.

A message from the president of the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber)

We've been asked to share the following message with our members:

“The president of the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber), Greg Sinfield, is keen to encourage solicitor candidates with tax experience to consider joining the Chamber’s Judicial Recruitment Support Scheme and welcomes the opportunity to support solicitor applicants in future competitions for judicial appointment.”

The Judicial Office recently delivered a seminar on applications for fee-paid tax judge of the First tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) and the newly launched Judicial Recruitment Support Scheme.

Watch the seminar

The Law Society provides support to aspiring and sitting solicitor judges.

We deliver webinars and produce digital resources, share case studies of solicitors in various judicial positions and run training schemes to prepare solicitors for judicial applications.

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