Looking after the pupils

Lord Bingham's ruling that the minimum wage does not apply to pupil barristers should not send a negative message to prospective students of the bar (The Lawyer, 13 March). In any event most chambers pay pupils considerably more than the minimum wage.

Immediately after last week's ruling, I commented that it was perhaps time for the bar to reconsider its recommended minimum level of payment to pupils – currently £5,000 per annum. Your magazine had that statement, but sadly your editorial chose to ignore it.

Prospective students will support my appeal to the profession at large to offer as many funded pupillages as possible. In particular, much more could be done by the CPS, the employed bar and the Government Legal Service in this area.

The profession has always taken the wellbeing of its pupils seriously. In light of the Bingham ruling, we must ensure that the financial wellbeing of our pupils is taken seriously as well.

Jonathan Hirst QC, chairman, Bar Council of England & Wales