Balbir Singh remains highest paid criminal barrister in UK

Birmingham set Equity Chambers head Balbir Singh has been revealed as the highest-paid legal aid criminal barrister for the second year in a row, according to Ministry of Justice (MoJ) figures.

Singh, a former magistrates’ clerk, last year received £957,000 from criminal legal aid work in 2006-07, following £1.1m the previous year. During the last three years he has been paid more than £2.8m in legal aid.

The 10 barristers on the MoJ’s criminal defence list earned a total of £7.8m between them, with John Rees QC of 2 Paper Buildings being the second highest earning criminal barrister pulling in fees of £956,000, up from £947,000 the previous year. Oliver Blunt QC of Furnival Chamber, who made £924,000, came in third.

On the civil legal aid list the top ten barristers between them earned £3.4m, with Jeremy Rosenblatt of 42 Bedford Row heading the earners receiving £508,000.

MoJ noted that the figures do not represent the personal earnings of the barristers in any one year as payments can be made for work over several years. In addition the fees are subject to VAT and do not include barrister overheads.

Highest paid criminal barristers:

Balbir Singh, Equity Chambers: £957,000
John Charles Rees QC, 2 Paper Buildings: £956,000
Oliver Blunt QC, Furnival Chambers: £ 924,000
George Carter-Stephenson QC, 25 Bedford Row: £763,000
Abbas Lakha QC, 9 Bedford Row: £ 760,000
Trevor Burke QC, Charter Chambers: £ 711,000
James Lewis QC, Three Raymond Buildings: £692,000
Peter Lodder QC, 2 Bedford Row: £678,000
Thomas Derbyshire QC, formerly of 2 Bedford Row: £668,000
Richard Ferguson QC, Carmelite Chambers: £663,000

Highest paid civil barristers:

Jeremy Rosenblatt, 42 Bedford Row: £508,000
Paul Storey QC, Southernhay Chambers: £362,000
John Godfrey, Wilberforce Chambers (Hull): £357,000
Stephen Knafler, Garden Court Chambers: £350,000
Simon Taylor QC, Cloisters: £334,000
Robin Tolson QC, Outer Temple Chambers: £328,000
Jonathan Baker QC, Harcourt Chambers: £323,000
Simeon Maskrey QC, 7 Bedford Row: £284,000
Eleanor Hamilton QC, No 6 Chambers: £281,000
Ian Peddie QC, Garden Court Chambers: £272,000