Josiah Senu awarded first 11KBW scholarship for black BPTC students

11KBW are delighted to announce that Josiah Senu has been awarded the first 11KBW Scholarship.

The 11KBW Scholarship for black students on the Bar Professional Training Course was established as a specific and practical response to the underrepresentation of black applicants, pupils and barristers at the Bar.

Josiah is an outstanding lawyer. He has a first-class degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science; an LLM from Harvard Law School, where he studied as a Kennedy Scholar; and is presently studying at Oxford University on the BCL. He has published articles in the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, the Lloyd’s Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly and the Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal and is a skilled ‘mooter’. He will begin the Bar Professional Training Course in October, at City University, London, and intends to practise at the commercial Bar. Josiah grew up as the son of working-class Nigerian immigrants in London council housing, and is a mentor in ‘Pathways to Law’, a UK programme aimed at supporting academic students from non-privileged backgrounds gain places at law school, and the Deputy Chair of the Alumni Leadership Board of the Sutton Trust.

11KBW has no doubt that Josiah will be a star of the Bar in years to come.

Josiah was selected from an exceptional field of candidates by a panel which included members of 11KBW’s Pupillage and Tenancy Committee and two external assessors, Dr Maggie Semple OBE and Paul McFarlane. Maggie Semple OBE is a Member of the Queen’s Counsel Appointments Selection Panel, among many other distinctions. Paul McFarlane is a Partner at Capsticks Solicitors LLP, Deputy Chair of the Employment Lawyers Association, a member of the Industrial Law Society Law Society Employment Law Committee, Black Solicitors Network, Board Member, an Appointment Panel Member of IMPRESS (Press Regulator) and an external assessor for the College of Policing.

Jane McCafferty QC, Chair of the set’s Equality and Corporate Social Responsibility Committee, said, “We were blown away by the quality of the applicants for the scholarship.  There is clearly a very promising pipeline of Black talent coming through and we look forward to seeing them succeed in practice. We could not have hoped for a more impressive scholar than Josiah in our first year and are delighted to recognise the ability and achievements of all the shortlisted candidates.”

Shortlisted candidates

Five other candidates were shortlisted for the 2021 11KBW Scholarship. They are each talented lawyers, with stellar careers ahead of them. In alphabetical order, they are:

  • Gabrielle Dunn
  • Mohamed Hussein-Iman
  • Denise Osei
  • Chloe Reddock; and
  • Kir West-Hunter. 

The 11KBW Scholarship 

The 11KBW Scholarship provides:

  • A scholarship award of £30,000 towards tuition fees and maintenance;
  • Mentoring from members of 11KBW during the BPTC and pupillage years;
  • A guaranteed assessed mini-pupillage at 11KBW; and
  • If the student’s score on the assessed mini-pupillage is within a particular range, relative to other candidates, the offer of a guaranteed interview for pupillage at 11KBW.

As Jane McCafferty QC explained: “By establishing this scholarship, we are focussing on entry into the profession. As the costs of initial qualification and existing underrepresentation are barriers to entry, we recognise the need for financial and other assistance to encourage bright and ambitious black candidates to apply to the Bar and to consider it as a profession where they can fully develop their potential.”

Joint Head of Chambers, Daniel Stilitz QC, said: “We are very pleased to support Josiah through this scholarship, and we hope that initiatives such as this will encourage talented black law students to see their future at the Bar. 11KBW is committed to pursuing diversity in practical ways and to recruiting the best pupils and tenants, irrespective of their background, and in particular from underrepresented groups.”

Full details are available at: