Knowledge Centre

Minimum pay for bar pupils on the rise

Written By - Joshua Watts - November 20,2019

Chambers in London must pay pupil barristers at least £18,866 a year from 2020, while pupils outside of London will receive a minimum of £16,322, following an annual review. The rates apply to all chambers and Bar Standards Board-regulated entities. 
Last year the BSB announced a minimum award for pupils in line with the Living Wage Foundation’s hourly rate recommendations. This first took effect in September 2019, and was set at £18,436 per annum for London pupils and £15,728 for pupils elsewhere. These awards have now increased by 2% and 4% respectively, in light of a review. 
Before the minimum award was introduced, chambers were allowed to pay pupils as little as £12,000 a year.
BSB director of regulatory operations, Oliver Hanmer, said: ‘This increase to the minimum pupillage award reaffirms the BSB’s commitment to ensuring that training for the bar is more accessible, affordable and flexible while sustaining high standards.’
Earlier this year, the Law Society recommended that trainee solicitors should be paid at least £22,121 in London and £19,619 outside London. However, firms are not bound by regulation to pay these sums.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority abolished a mandatory minimum salary in 2014, and now stipulates only that trainees are paid the National Living Wage.