Barristers earning more than £500,000 face increased practising certificate fees.
At present, fees are set according to six bands, with the highest for those earning £240,000 or more set at £1,850. In a consultation paper, the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and Bar Council laid out plans for two more grades.
Those earning more than £500,000 will pay £2,500 and those earning more than £1m will pay £3,000. Those earning £30,000 or less will see their fee reduced from £123 to £100. Fees for the other pay bands will remain unchanged.
The consultation estimated it will bring in an extra £497,000 from those in Band 7 and £382,000 from those in Band 8, on the basis that nearly 130 barristers earn more than £1m a year and about 200 take home more than £500,000.
It stated that the proposals are ‘not an attempt at redistribution of wealth’ but a recognition of the ‘increasing gap in earnings across the Bar’.
The plans will be brought to the joint Bar Council and BSB Finance Committee for review and approval in February 2019.
The BSB also published rules allowing it to close barristers’ practices, after it was given the statutory power to intervene.
Director of Strategy and Policy, Ewen Macleod, said the BSB expected to use the powers ‘very infrequently and only in the rarest of situations’ where intervening is the only way to safeguard clients’ interests.