Tuesday, 22 January 2008


After listening to Simon Myerson's podcast with CharonQC and why he has turned down the LSC contract, I was admittedly a bit confused, I haven't read more about the LSC contract other than what it says on Simon Myerson's blog and the podcast however what shocked me was the example that Simon gave in his Charon QC ( now correct me if I am wrong) 300 hours on a fraud case, and Simon would work 10 hours a day, at £91 an hour? Which he equated to £27,000 for a months work.

Now to be sensible I have always wanted to become a barrister because the good ones are quite well off. I cannot understand however, perhaps I am completly naive, as to why £27,000 would be an INSUFFICIENT amount of money for anyone. As that is more than the annual national average wage in the UK, for one months work.

I understand Simon Myersons other reasons for not wanting to sign the LSC contract, such as as the LSC wanting access to his diary, you have to take work etc.

But for me £27,000 is quite a lot of money (perhaps I am just a naive student) as I currently survive on approximately £7,000 a year and am doing a full time degree, have all the luxuries I currently want, I am a bit in awe/shock as to why £27,000 is an insufficient amount of money. As currently that would last me another 3 years.

What do you do with that sort of money?!?!?


Anonymous said...


With respect to the apparently healthy ammount of money that £27k represents there are a number of things to take into account:
1:Barristers are lone practitioners;they are soley responsible for the payment of expenses like chambers rent, and overheads Tax ( which will inevitably mean that an accountant has to be hired to keep it all above board) National Insurance. they also have to stump up a contribution to the award made to any pupils trolling about chambers.
2: The payment system, such as it is, is not immediate; barristers frequently have to wait many months to be paid, if not sometimes years ( there are specific teams of clerks who do nothing in some chambers but chase so called "aged debt" ie money owed for work done in the past; a friend of mine in a busy commercial set in London already has such a debt, and he's not been qualified that long)
3: Work coming in is erratic; sometimes there will be a lot and at other times, very little; no work, no earnngs.
4: despite the uncertainty, bills still have to be paid, food still has to be bought, kids still have to be clothed and Mortgages remain exorbitant.
7; The barrister also has to plan for his retirement, just like the rest of us, but the proposed poverty of wage at the criminal bar will make this doubly difficult
6:£27 k for the services of a leading provincial silk, is therefore, a joke
7: The present Government seems determined to wring the neck of the Criminal Justice system; if these outrageous proposals go ahead, no barrister will want to flog himself to death for a wage even more pathetic than £27k (lots of junior barristers make a living and indeed cut their adversarial teeth at the criminal bar at the moment) and what then will become of the hapless individual who is confronted with the full might of the system? He won't be able to find anyone competent to represent him and this is genuinely scary.....
Phew, rant over with!

Lost London Law Student said...

Good info cheers!!

Anonymous said...


No problem: there are a couple of points to add:

The pay for a criminal junior will be ten times worse than it is for a silk.

Barristers don't get sick pay unless they plan carefully for such days as they cannot work; bieng sick therefore =no work=no money.

Its a bugger bieng a barrister, aint it?!?!?