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Barristers: Self-employed

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL5810, tabled on 16 June 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the findings of the research by the Bar Council published on 27 April that without further support 74 per cent of self-employed barristers will be unable to continue to practice.

Answered on

30 June 2020

The Government is continuing to engage with the Bar Council to understand the concerns and what support we can provide. The Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) covers most people who receive most of their income from self-employment. In addition, for criminal legal aid practitioners, we have provided greater access to hardship payments from the Legal Aid Agency to allow practitioners to claim one month after they were first instructed instead of six, and to lower the threshold for work done on a case from £5,000 to £450. We also note that the four Inns of Court have created a package of measures to assist junior barristers and that an emergency fund by the Barristers’ Benevolent Association and hardship funds from the inns are being introduced. We continue to keep the situation under review in the light of developing recovery plans.