Top tax barristers have become the premier league of the bar, with premier silks charging up to £5,000 an hour and £50,000 for a day-long conference.
Silks at sets such as Gray's Inn Tax Chambers, Pump Court Tax Chambers and 11 New Square routinely charge 10 times the £500 going rate for an average commercial silk.
One clerk said: "If you're saving multinational companies hundreds of millions of pounds, then £50,000 is absolutely peanuts."
The rates mean that six tax specialists have made it into The Lawyer's list of barristers earning more than £2m a year. Gray's Inn's Michael Flesch QC and David Goldberg QC are joined by Graham Aaronson QC and David Milne QC of Pump Court and 11 New Square's John Gardiner QC and Jonathan Peacock QC.
They are joined in the £2m-a-year club by superstars of the commercial bar such as Lord Grabiner QC of One Essex Court and Brick Court Chambers' Jonathan Sumption QC.