Bar Council survey finds immediate impact of COVID-19 on barristers’ profession

Sustainability and diversity issues, with criminal Bar most affected

 In the last few weeks, the Bar Council has been strongly urging the Government to introduce further targeted financial support to ensure the sustainability of the Bar particularly in light of Covid-19.

The Bar Council has just conducted a survey of Heads of Chambers to demonstrate the immediate impact that Coronavirus is having on the profession and individuals. We surveyed 262 of the largest chambers, of which 145 (55%) have responded to date.

A summary of findings and recommendations is attached.

The Bar Council’s survey revealed three main concerns in chambers:

  1.     Interruption to court work (80% of respondents)
  2.     Inability to generate income to pay future costs
  3.     Cash flow (or lack thereof) to pay current costs

Amanda Pinto QC, Chair of the Bar, said: “We continue to urge the Ministry of Justice and Government to give immediate support to the Bar, especially those in the early stages of their practice and those doing publicly funded work. Whilst the measures introduced last week by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to help the self-employed were welcome, the self-employed Bar and chambers have needs that have not been addressed. Having canvassed the Bar through our survey, we have identified consistent concerns that chambers are facing, which we have raised as a matter of urgency with the Government. We continue to press for action on these issues

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