Magic circle QC trades commercial bar megabucks for unpaid government gig

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By Legal Cheek on

David Wolfson says farewell to One Essex Court millions

David Wolfson QC

One of the leading commercial barristers in the country has swapped his big money life at a magic circle chambers for an unpaid government gig.

David Wolfson QC says farewell to One Essex Court, whose leading silks pull in millions a year, to take a post at the Ministry of Justice. The trade off is a life peerage (which means he can call himself ‘Baron’) and a place in the House of Lords.

Fellow top lawyers have expressed admiration for the move, seemingly impressed that such a highly paid silk would give it all up to join Boris Johnson’s government.

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“Congratulations to a real legal heavyweight, and a lovely man,” wrote Dinah Rose QC on Twitter, cheekily adding to speculation by journalist Joshua Rozenberg that this may just be the first step on a journey for Wolfson: “The suggestion in this piece that he might replace Stella Braverman as AG is an excellent one. His expertise and integrity put him in a different league. Let’s hope they aren’t seen as a disadvantage…”

Another, Steven Barrett, the barrister and Spectator columnist, wrote:

“Huge congratulations to David Wolfson QC. He is a titan of the Bar and one of our finest legal minds. It should come as great comfort to everyone that someone so able is willing to serve his country.”

In the unlikely event that University of Cambridge grad Wolfson, 52, has spent the last quarter of a century frittering away his massive earnings, he will find comfort in the House of Lords attendance allowance of up to £305 per day plus travel expenses. Not all members of the House claim this.

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