Sole practitioner barristers are on the rise, according to the Bar Standards Board’s inaugural annual Bar Barometer report.
The Barometer showed a six per cent rise in the overall number of practising barristers to 15,270 (from 14,623) between 2005-2010.
Of these, 20 per cent are employed barristers and 80 per cent are self-employed. The self-employed Bar operates from 734 chambers, of which some 391 are sole practitioners, that is self-employed barristers who have been in practice for at least three years since pupillage and who practise independently of either an employer or a traditional barristers’ chambers. In 2005, there were 606 chambers, of which 281 were sole practitioners.
The employed Bar now accounts for more than 3,000 practising barristers.