50% boost to pupil pay minimum from September 2019

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£18,436 in London and £15,728 elsewhere

New increases to pupillage awards across England and Wales will come into effect from September 1 next year, the Bar Standards Board (BSB) has said. Confirmation of the rollout date comes after the regulator revealed in May that pupil pay would be set in line with salaries recommended by the Living Wage Foundation (LWF).

Under the new rules, the minimum pupillage award will be £18,436 per annum for pupillages (or any other form of work-based learning) in London and £15,728 per annum everywhere else. As things stand, the minimum a chambers can offer a pupil is £12,000 a year regardless of location.

A BSB spokesperson said:

“Linking the minimum amount that pupil barristers must be paid to the Living Wage Foundation’s recommendations is just one of the changes we are making to make bar training more accessible, affordable and flexible whilst maintaining high standards. Two-thirds of chambers already ensure that their pupils receive more than the minimum award we are setting, but we will keep the impact under careful review particularly in relation to the number of pupillages available”.

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The regulator also confirmed pupil pay will then be increased in the future at the start of each year, the first such increase being in January 2020. The annual uplifts will be announced every November, following the publication of LWF’s recommended hourly rate for the year ahead. The foundation currently recommends a ‘real living wage’ of £10.55 in London and £9.00 elsewhere.

The pupil pay boost follows the conclusion of the regulator’s comprehensive review into training at the bar, including assessments on the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). Among the changes, the BSB said it will look to split civil litigation exam into two parts, a closed-book “civil litigation and evidence” assessment and an open-book “civil Dispute resolution” exam, and allow wannabe barristers an “unlimited number of attempts” at each assessment within a maximum period of five years.

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£18,436?! That’s more than a criminal barrister of 10 years’ call.


Kirkland NQ

Or less than 10% of my total comp p.a.



Fvck all, isnt’ it

Unionise, solidarity, strike action NOW

Bring courts to a halt

The bare minimum is what a doctor is paid

Some sort of redistribution across the profession from high earners to legal aid is not only needed but necessary



“not only needed but necessary” can you explain the difference?



Redistribution is needed by legal aid for it to achieve its purpose, but it is also necessary for legal aid to survive at all and, as such, to prevent harm to the reputation of the wider industry.


Do you think investment bankers should subsidise the wages of retail bankers? …

Fuck off by the way.


When I already pay an effective tax rate of 50 % on my income at the Chancery Bar, why is it *my* responsibility to pay the salaries of those who choose to do Crime? The reason many make no money is because there are far too many of them – a good criminal barrister at a good set can make a reasonable living. The ones who don’t earn anything are just not very good.

I agree, however, that Criminal barristers are underpaid. I just don’t see the sense in targeting high earning lawyers to pay for a public service. Why not high paid bankers? Footballers? Oh wait- we already do, it is called progressive taxation



Are your fees not paid by the tax-man bailed out banks?

The whole of the Chancery Bar is publicly funded to the tune of about five hundred times the entire legal aid budget. Just because those funds are channeled indirectly does not make them any the less public funding.


Some chambers might reduce the number of pupillages they can offer. They might have to take two pupils for £36k (at £18k per pupil) rather than 3 pupils for £36k (at £12k per pupil).

This is more likely to be a problem for crappy legal aid sets with no future. So no biggie..



Reducing pupillage numbers at the criminal bar… good – it needs to happen. There are too many.



But who will do the magistrates court work at £30 per case?


Kirkland NQ

Pretty sure the cleaners at Sainsbury’s earn better wages than that


IM trainee

How the other half live…



No wonder the profession attracts such numpties. Pay peanuts and your attract buffoons, Aka the next generation of idiots posing as legal professional’s.
It’s a shit salary for even a pupil. Six years of studying for less than a welder gets and you wonder why the legal profession has been destroyed.??duh!!!



Given your ballistic approach to punctuation, I’d be wary of labelling anyone a numpty, buffoon, idiot or a legal professional.


Apost Rophe



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