One Essex Court pupils to pocket £60k salary

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  • This is a bizarre and irrational move, which OEC have presumably opted for "because they can", not because it will achieve anything. The other big hitters - the few sets one might turn down OEC for - can and will just match it. The niche or second-rank commercial sets who have previously paid similar sums may balk at keeping up - but I doubt anyone turns down OEC to go to them. As for continuing to attract the best, or more diverse, people, who's shunning a career at the elite commercial Bar because the rewards are insufficient? This may even backfire. Many clients, both lay and professional, even at the highest level, are looking for value. As for attracting a range of candidates, among the biggest obstacles for non-traditional candidates for the Bar are (a) the arrogance of many junior practitioners and (b) an often mistaken sense of unattainability. Neither of these impressions will be dispelled by this sort of stratospheric award.

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  • I look forward to seeing what a diverse bunch of white Oxbridge-educated ex-public schoolboy sons of the judiciary OEC manages to recruit with this bold move. Well done!

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  • Alternatively, Anonymous, you could just say they're being fair. £60,000 for the year sounds a lot. But bearing in mind that in effect £15,000 is likely to be drawn down just to pay the BVC fees, maybe a bit more to actually live on during the BVC year. That brings you down to £40,000-£45,000 - which is comparable with brand new City trainees at some firms - who, crucially, are likely to have all their fees etc paid direct. Plus it's a skilled job, these are bright people, and i bet they get worked hard. The problem here isn't that the likes of OEC are paying too much. The problem is that it costs so much to become a barrister - especially relative to the risks. And that, boo, is the reason why a lot are still as you describe - because they can.

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  • Why does everyone sound so bitter? Esp boo. NQ solicitors get paid this sum of money and more in top city law firms, so why can't new members of the bar be paid this? If they have taken the risk, and succeeded, why does everyone object to the reward of a high salary. Isn't that what entices people in the first place when hunting for a job?

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  • Danny Smillies "..designed to help the set grow organically" comment made me smile. Wonder what type of fertilser they use at Wilberforce...

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  • As an in-house lawyer on not much more than this at 10 years PQE one wonders why I bother coming into work anymore ... I should have gone to Oxford!

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  • Why all the sour grapes? If 1 Essex Court want to pay £60,000 p.a to attract the best and brighest pupils, thats entirely their prerogative. Given how fiercely competetive the process is, I daresay the pupils have worked hard to earn their place and their starting salary. Good for them.

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  • FAO Lisa Smith. If you wanted to go to the commercial bar and earn oodles of cash, well, yes, of course you should have gone to Oxford. Or even just because it's one of the best universities in the world where you can be taught one-on-one by some of the leading academics in whatever field you study. Not sure you need to have gone to Oxford to work either of those things out...

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