Statistics

Demographic profile of the Bar

Annual data refers to the situation in December of that year.

Bi-annual data is taken over the course of the legal year (1 October - 30 September)

Queen's Counsel (Silk) barristers

All practising barristers

Self employed barristers

Employed barristers

Pupil barristers

Chambers

Entry to the Bar 

BPTC statistics

Called to the Bar

Queen's Counsel (Silk) barristers

Suitably experienced barristers can apply to the Queen's Counsel Selection Panel, who make recommendations on the basis of excellence in advocacy in the higher courts.

For further information please see: http://www.qcappointments.org

Self employed Queen's Counsel

         2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Self employed Queen's Counsel 1,278 1,223 1,273 1,318 1,397

Self employed Queen's Counsel by gender

                        2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Male 1,160 1,107 1,146 1,179 1,245
Female 118 116 127 139 152

 Queen's Counsel by ethnicity

         2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
BME 46 44 49 57 68
White 1,169 1,120 1,166 1,207 1,273
No data 63 59 58 54 56

 

All practising barristers

Barristers are entitled to hold a practising certificate upon their successful completion of pupillage. This is renewed annually and grants barristers the right to practice as barristers. All barristers with practising certificates may work as self employed or employed. The majority are self employed.

        2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Total barristers in practice 14,890 15,030 15,182 15,270 15,387

 All practising barristers by gender

     2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Male 9,920 9,924 9,999 10,011 10,033
Female 4,970 5,106 5,183 5,259 5,354

 All practising barristers by ethnicity

       2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
BME 1,432 1,466 1,493 1,545 1,564
White 11,347 11,421 11,580 11,721 11,885
No data 2,111 2,143 2,109 2,004 1,938

 

Self-employed barristers

Self-employed barristers work in chambers (which employ administrative and management staff funded by members' 'rent') or work alone as sole practitioners.

 All self-employed barristers

This includes sole practitioners and barristers practising in chambers

        2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
All self employed barristers 12,034 12,058 12,136 12,241 12,420

Sole practitioners

       2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Sole practitioners 298 309 351 391 419

All self-employed barristers by gender

       2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Male 8,381 8,327 8,364 8,381 8,443
Female 3,653 3,731 3,772 3,860 3,977

All self-employed barristers by ethnicity

      2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
BME 1,098 1,109 1,132 1,175 1,203
White 9,474 9,489 9,573 9,724 9,907
No data 1,462 1,460 1,431 1,342 1,310

  

Employed barristers

Employed barristers are practising barristers who are employed by a 'Recognised Body', either under a contract of employment (e.g. with a private company) or by virtue of an office under the Crown (such as the Crown Prosecution Service) or the institutions of the European Communities.

     2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Employed barristers 2,856 2,972 3,046 3,029 2,967

Employed barristers by gender

     2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Male 1,539 1,597 1,635 1,630 1,590
Female 1,317 1,375 1,411 1,399 1,377

Employed barristers by ethnicity

     2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
BME 334 357 361 370 361
White 1,873 1,932 2,007 1,997 1,978
No data 649 683 678 662 628

  

Pupil barristers

Pupillage is a compulsory one-year training period spent in an authorised pupillage training organisation (PTO): either barristers' chambers or another approved legal environment). For further information, please see http://www.pupillages.com

Pupil barristers by gender

     2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11
Male 276 250 238 261 280 184 241
Female 251 261 264 249 210 223 181
No data 29 4 25 52 25 53 22

Pupil barrister by ethnicity

     2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11
BME 88 85 107 105 68 71 58
White 434 423 394 394 420 333 349
No data 34 7 26 54 27 56 37


Pupil barristers by university attended

  2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11

Oxford/

Cambridge

161

(31%)

147

(29%)

161

(32%)

161

(32%)

157

(32%)

109

(24%)

 155

(34.9%)

 

Russell Group (without Oxbridge)

165

(32%)

177

(35%)

174

(35%)

189

(37%)

164

(34%)

103

(22%)

 123

(27.7%)

 

 

All other universities

197

(37%)

185

(36%)

162

(33%)

158

(31%)

164

(34%)

195

(42%)

 122

(27.4%)

 

 

No data  n/a n/a   n/a   

n/a

 n/a

 53

(12%)

 44

(10%)

Pupil barristers by degree classification

     2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11
First

127

(21.4%)

 108

(21.1%)

 149

(29.6%)

 147

(28.8%)

 160

(32.7%)

 108

(23.5%)

 155

(34.9%)

Upper second

310

(58.8%)

 329

(64.3%)

 296

(58.8%)

 320

(62.7%)

 273

(55.7%)

 243

(52.8%)

 242

(53.5%)

Lower second

73

(13.9%)

 68

(13.3%)

 48

(9.5%)

 29

(5.7%)

 42

(8.6%)

 39

(8.5%)

 18

(4.1%)

Third

6

(1.1%)

 2

(0.4%)

 1

(0.2%)

 4

(0.8%)

 11

(2.2%)

 2

(0.4%)

 1

(0.2%)

Other

8

(1.5%)

 1

(0.2%)

 2

(0.4%)

 8

(1.6%)

 4

(0.8%)

 9

(2%)

 4

(0.9%)

Missing n/a   n/a   n/a   n/a    n/a

 55

(12.8%) 

 24

(5.4%)

  

Chambers

Chambers are offices from which more than one self employed barristers practise, sharing administrative teams and other office costs. Newly Called barristers wanting to pursue self-employed practise seek 'pupillage' within chambers, during which time they are supervised by a more senior barristers and start to take on their cases.

All chambers in England and Wales

    2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

Chambers in London

310 323 332 330 342 347
Chambers outside of London 296 318 312 313 348 387
Total number of chambers 606 641 644 643 690 734

 

Entry to the Bar

Start date (academic year)  Applications for pupillage  First Six Second Six New tenants New Employee's
1998/1999  n/a 541
1999/2000  n/a 511
2000/2001  n/a 695 700 535
2001/2002  n/a 812* 724 541
2002/2003  n/a 586 702 698
2003/2004  n/a 518 557 601 182
2004/2005  n/a 556 598 544 156
2005/2006  n/a 515 567 531 191
2006/2007  n/a 527 563 499 228
2007/2008  n/a 562 555 494 239
2008/2009 2,802 462 518 497 213
2009/2010 2,841 460 495 467 171
2010/2011 2,865 446 477 x x

* NB due to 30 September 2002 falling on a Monday, 112 pupillages which would normally have been registered in the 2002/3 year were registered in the 2001/2 year, causing the higher than usual figure for that year and the lower than usual figure for 2002/3.

 

BPTC statistics

Once they have completed a law degree or graduate law conversion course, the BPTC is the second stage of academic training for the Bar and equips students with the skills, knowledge, attitudes and competence required for a career at the Bar.
For further information and to apply, please see Online application for BPTC.


For more details on BPTC applicants in 2009/10, please see 'An analysis of the backgrounds of BPTC applicants in 2009/10'   

For more details on students enrolled full time on the 2009/10 BVC, please see An analysis of full-time students enrolled on the 2009/10 BVC

BPTC Year 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12
Applicants 2,570 2,883 2,917 2,870 2,864 2,540 2,657 3,100 3,016
Enrolments 1,449 1,665 1,745 1,932 1,837 1,749 1,793 1,618 1,669
Successful 1,251 1,392 1,480 1,560 1,720 1,330 1,432 n/a n/a

 

  

Called to the Bar

'Call' is the date at which barrister are formally recognised to have passed the vocational stage of training have been admitted to the Bar.

    2005/06 2006/07 2007/008 2008/09 2009/10
All Called to the Bar 1,640 1,736 1,742 1,772 1,852

Gender profile of those Called to the Bar

   2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10
Male 794 909 832 851 876
Female 846

870

919 921 977

Ethnic profile of those Called to the Bar

   2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10
BME 413 504 670 721 819
White 830 859 1,052 1,020 1,006
No data 397 413 20 31 28