In-house barristers feel they are treated as ‘second-class’, according to a report from the Bar Council.

Responding to a survey, some said there was a lack of acceptance by the judiciary and low public awareness, though others said things have improved over the last decade.

More positively the report, Snapshot Report: The Experience of Employed Barristers at the Bar, found that financial security, a good work/life balance, a pension and an interesting and diverse range of work were the key factors that drew barristers in-house.

It showed that employed barristers earn an average of almost £70,000 a year. Of the 300 respondents, 16% were paid a gross salary in excess of £100,000 a year and 6% received more that £150,000.

The research found that a lack of encouragement by employers, and others, whether in the public or in the private sector, has deterred many from applying for Silk or a judicial appointment.

Bar Chairman, Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC, said: ‘Barristers play a critical and valuable role inside public bodies, companies, charities and other organisations.’ Doerries said the survey showed that ‘the work of the employed Bar is just as important as that of the self-employed Bar’.

Michael Jennings, Chairman of the Employed Barristers’ Committee, said: ‘It is troubling that members... still encounter, or at the very least perceive, the view that somehow their work is of lower value or less respected than that of the self-employed Bar.’

‘The whole Bar and the wider legal sector needs a cultural shift away from seeing employed barristers as somehow not barristers in the traditional sense.’ The Committee is taking steps to address the concerns raised in the report, he said.