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Young judges see pay packets swell to nearly £200,000 in wake of age discrimination case victory

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Exclusive: High Court and Court of Appeal judges’ salaries upped by 11%

Younger judges will be handed a “non-pensionable and taxable” bonus this year to make up for the fact they’ll lose thousands of pounds under a new pension scheme.

Sources tell us younger, less experienced judges considered under the new pension scheme will be £25,000 worse off than their older, more experienced colleagues.

Unsurprisingly, the judiciary wasn’t very happy about this and brought a case to the employment tribunal. The judges, led by Master McCloud, argued that the government’s pension plans directly discriminated against them based on their age. They also claimed indirect discrimination on the grounds of gender and race, because younger judges tend to be more diverse.

The judges were successful at the tribunal, and now comes a “major review” of judicial salaries. Pending the completion of this, however, younger judges will be handed some extra cash to keep them sweet.

According to a message published on the judiciary’s intranet, Lord Chancellor Liz Truss:

[H]as written to the Lord Chief Justice saying that a non-pensionable and taxable, temporary Recruitment and Retention Allowance of 11% of salary (the “RRA”) will be introduced for those High Court Judges (“HCJs”) and Court of Appeal Judges in the new Judicial Pension Scheme 2015 (“NJPS”).

What does this mean in money terms? High Court judges are currently paid £179,768, so with this £19,774 bonus included they’re set to earn £199,542. As for Court of Appeal judges, they’re paid £204,695. Factor in their bonus of £22,516 and they’re looking at a hefty £227,211 salary this year.

This news comes at a time the judiciary is struggling to fill its benches with new recruits.

Last year, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas, used his annual report to parliament to highlight the serious concerns he has about this. Describing the problem as “extremely urgent”, he noted that in two recent rounds of recruitment for the High Court, not all the vacancies were filled.

It’s hoped this bonus will act as a sweetener for aspiring judges. The intranet message continues:

The Lord Chancellor said she recognised that a fair and effective remuneration scheme was critical to the continued attraction and retention of high calibre judges.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said:

It is absolutely paramount that we get the right people into the High Court, which also offers a crucial pipeline into the higher judiciary. We are introducing a temporary, targeted allowance to make sure we attract the very brightest talent and help stop our exceptional judges from leaving early.


Read the full message:

Message from the Chancellor of the High Court: Announcement of Recruitment & Retention Allowance

The Lord Chancellor has written to the Lord Chief Justice saying that a non-pensionable and taxable, temporary Recruitment and Retention Allowance of 11% of salary (the “RRA”) will be introduced for those High Court Judges (“HCJs”) and Court of Appeal Judges in the new Judicial Pension Scheme 2015 (“NJPS”). The RRA will be paid pending the report of the Senior Salaries Review Board on its Major Review of Judicial Salaries, expected in June 2018.

The Lord Chancellor said she recognised that a fair and effective remuneration scheme was critical to the continued attraction and retention of high calibre judges, and that she fully understood the current concerns around pay and pensions. She accepted that there had been an impact on recruitment and retention of HCJs. She was therefore introducing “a targeted allowance to encourage new talent to apply for the High Court and to discourage our existing, exceptional judges from leaving the bench early”.


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12 Comments

Anonymous

here’s hoping my supreme court application comes through! #fingerscrossed

(7)(0)

5 yrs PQE MC

Cute.

(1)(4)

Anonymous

Is that how u refer to yourself when you make love?

(3)(1)

Anonymous

more than I can say for you, uggo

(0)(1)

Anonymous

But not a bean extra for those circuit judges who spend most of their time trying cases that would otherwise have to be tried by High Court Judges. I foresee a few of them refusing to “act up” as unpaid HCJs. I wonder if the Lord Chancellor realises how much these circuit judges contribute to supporting an underfunded legal system?

(12)(0)

Anonymous

And the DJs who have to step up to hear the CJ work without extra pay

(1)(2)

Not Amused

We need to take back control of the system and run it ourselves. Appoint a small and all powerful ‘Senior Council’ in place of the various admin functions spread out over the senior judges and the LC.

Vest all Court assets in a trust. Appoint 2 ex-managing partners of the top 10 biggest law firms, 2 from regional or small firms, 2 from the Bar (knighthoods for all for free service)and have one role which is fully paid of CEO. Have the CEO and that board tasked with running that trust and the entire Court System. Have the appointed representatives voted for by their respective constituents every 4 years.

Firstly conduct a large scale redundancy exercise. Then start again.

Because the current system has three systemic problems:
1) it is really expensive;
2) it is utterly crap;
3) no one has the power or inclination to reform it.

(4)(11)

Anonymous

Are you Jon Warner?

(1)(0)

Rzbg

Or make like a Tom Clancy novel and bomb Westminster to …drain the swamp? Sounds familiar.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Do you do any work at all NA? Beginning to doubt you are a practising lawyer at all.

(6)(0)

Anonymous

Circuit Judges are in effect taking a 10% pay cut (the result of the pension tax) which will mean their take home pay is practically that of a District Judge (because they won’t pay the pension tax). I don’t see how any decent lawyer on a good income is going to think going to the Circuit Bench is a good idea for their finances.

(6)(1)

Erik the Red

Total rubbish you speak

(0)(2)

Comments are closed.