Chambers seek regular wages

CHAMBERS practice managers are to meet with a leading bank to discuss a new scheme to provide barristers with a regular salary.

The unique project is the brainchild of Peter Bennett, practice manager at James Hunt QC's chambers at 36 Bedford Row, and is already up and running at the set.

So far 30 tenants have signed up to the scheme, which gives them a guaranteed monthly income based on their projected income for the year.

The newly formed Legal Practice Management Association, chaired by Doughty Street Chambers practice manager Christine Kings, has now agreed to meet with Coutts & Co for a full briefing on it.

“From what I know already about the scheme I think it has great potential. I now want to hear more about it,” she said.

The scheme is designed to free barristers from the regular worries associated with receiving irregular payments from clients.

It also avoids the intense pressure on clerks which can occur when barristers come under pressure to pay bills at a time when cheques are not coming in.

Regular payments are made to tenants based on a projected income and if they do not receive as much income as expected the shortfall is spread over the next year.

Bennett said: “When I joined the set last year it immediately struck me that there must be a way of getting round the financial difficulties many barristers face simply because their payments are not arriving on time.”

Senior tenant Stephen Waine, one of the first barristers to join the scheme, added: “It has been of tremendous help to me. At first, you miss the excitement of large cheques, but that is far outweighed by the ability to budget and the security of a regular income.”