In 2021 the Bar Council published a report showing trends in barristers’ earnings over the last 20 years, split by sex and practice area. The report, which used anonymous income data from self-employed barristers shared by Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund (BMIF) showed that, while there were more women than ever working at the Bar, the gap between men’s and women’s earnings had widened over the period 2000-2020. We were also able to show that although in real-terms (adjusted for inflation) earnings had increased in most practice areas, some, most notably those in Criminal practice, had seen a decline in actual earnings over the same period.

We share an update in 2022 on what’s happened to earnings at the self-employed Bar over the last year and show where differences between men’s and women’s earnings have reduced, and where the differences have grown.

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