The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
The £1m-a-year club of barristers is growing, with some even understood to be closing in on the £2m mark.
There are certainly not as many huge cases for the commercial bar these days, but there are many barristers still earning astronomical sums.
Lord Grabiner QC, head of chambers at One Essex Court, tops the list and is understood to be commanding a salary that approaches £2m a year.
He is followed by his great adversary Jonathan Sumption QC, at fellow "magic circle" set Brick Court Chambers, who is believed to be earning approximately £1.75m.
Sumption is level pegging with David Pannick QC at Blackstone Chambers, showing the set's rising performance at the commercial bar.
Fellow tenant Barbara Dohmann QC, COMBAR's chairman, is also in the club.
Unlike solicitors in the big City firms who have to commit one or two hours a day to administration, marketing and business development, barristers can charge for almost all the hours they are at work. They are also able to command hourly rates that, for the exclusive few, can rise above £1,000 per hour.
"We're not slaves to the hourly rate. It's a guide only. We are happy to rise above it but also to negotiate downwards," says a source at a leading commercial set.
Silks' rates generally range between £200 and £600 per hour. But fees will often not be arranged on the basis of an hourly fee.