Barristers' pay is more than enough

Your article "Barristers fight solicitors for share of a shrinking market" (The Lawyer, 21 June) suggests barristers can compete effectively on price by charging a "very low rate" of #50 per hour, and that their overheads are around 25 per cent of earnings. Let's do some calculations on this.

Suppose these barristers work for 30 hours a week and take six weeks' unpaid holiday a year. Their annual earnings would be #51,000. This calculation shows that even when charging #50 per hour, barristers can earn a comfortable living with conditions which compare favourably with those of other professionals.

The surprising thing is not that barristers can survive on #50 per hour – they could survive on much less – but that the Bar generally has got away with charging extortionately high hourly rates for so long.

Dr Peter Gray, doctor & barrister, Kent