Tenancy numbers take a tumble

While some areas of the civil bar are thriving, there is little doubt that others are fighting for survival. Nowhere is this more obvious than at the junior end of the profession.

It is essential then to get a clear picture of what is going on. How many wannabe advocates are joining the barrister ranks? Exactly how many tenancies are being doled out?

In April there was an audible gasp when the Bar Council claimed in its Bar Barometer report that tenancy numbers had dropped by a whopping 64 per cent in a year. Later that same day it was forced to apologise. It had got its sums wrong and the actual figure was still in the process of being totted up. 

Almost three months later and the Bar Council has finally done the maths. Between 2010/11 and 2011/12 tenancy numbers tumbled by 38 per cent. Not quite the fall originally reported, but still a significant decrease.

The upshot is that it is harder to get tenancy than ever before. What does that mean for the future of the British justice system?

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