Specialist insolvency set 3/4 South Square has stormed to the top of the most remunerative chambers list, with barristers’ average earnings standing at £522,000.
The set saw a 9 per cent hike in revenue per barrister (RPB) to £522,000, taking it to the head of the RPB table.
Of the magic circle of large commercial and chancery sets, Lord Grabiner QC’s One Essex Court is celebrating the largest growth in overall revenues. Earnings are up to £27.3m – a rise of 9 per cent. Despite the loss of Elizabeth Gloster QC to the bench, RPB has risen to £506,000. Brick Court Chambers, which remains the top-ranked set by turnover, and Wilberforce Chambers make up the four-set elite, with RPB standing at over £500,000.
At the bottom end of the top 10, the UK’s largest set, No5 Chambers, posted a revenue increase of 16 per cent, taking income to £21.6m. RPB rose 15 per cent to £135,000 for each of its 160 tenants.
Fellow Birmingham giant St Philips recorded an even more impressive performance, although it was not quite enough to get it into the top 10. The set posted a 25 per cent rise in RPB to £160,000, partly the result of the departure of 12 tenants over the course of the year. The chambers also saw its turnover rise by 14 per cent to £20m in 2004-05.
St Philips chief executive Paul Wilson said the set had managed to get its costs increasingly under control and was able to refund £400,000 to members over the course of the year. “We’ve probably got the best commercial team outside London,” said Wilson.
|Top 10 chambers by turnover|
|Rank||Firm||Turnover (£m)||Revenue per barrister||Chambers contribution||Total tenants (silks)|
|1||Brick Court Chambers||32.0||516||10-11||62 (28)|
|2||Essex Court Chambers||31.0||456||13||68 (28)|
|3||One Essex Court||27.3||506||12.1||54 (18)**|
|4||Fountain Court Chambers||27.0||465||14||58 (20)|
|5||Blackstone Chambers||24.3||380||15-17||64 (29)|
|6||3/4 South Square||23.5||522||11.5||45 (16)|
|7||Wilberforce Chambers||22.2||505||16.5||44 (16)|
|8||20 Essex Street||22.0||440||12||50 (17)**|
|9||Maitland Chambers*||21.8||335||18||65 (15)|
|10||No5 Chambers||21.6||135||15||160 (13)|
|Source: The Lawyer
*Incorporating 9 Old Square
** Excludes arbitrators