Barristers in England and Wales have walked out in strike over funding to legal aid.
The Criminal Bar Association (CBA) took part in the increased industrial action over a row about conditions and legal aid fees.
Almost 80% of its members voted in favour, which will see the already backlogged justice system hit hard.
Barristers are the latest sector to go on strike, after the recent rail strikes in the UK and growing concerns further strikes from teachers and the NHS will follow.
So, how much does a barrister get paid and why are they striking? Here’s everything you need to know.
How much does a barrister earn?
How much a barrister earns will depend on their experience, skillset and type of case they are working on.
According to Jobted, earnings can be as low as £15,700 for trainees.
Wages can vary drastically from minimum wage to six figure salaries.
At the lowest end of the spectrum are trainee Pupil Barristers who can expect to earn an average salary of just £16,000 a year, figures from the job aggregator Jobted show.
That is based only on barrister jobs posted on Jobted in the last 12 months.
A junior barrister who has less than three years experience can expect to earn on average a salary of £40,300 per year.
A barrister with four to nine years experience can earn on average a salary of £87,600 per year.
A barrister who is established and has between 10-20 years experience can expect to earn an average salary of £172,200.
A barrister who has more than 20 years of professional experience can expect to earn on average £189,700.
When will barristers go on strike?
In August members of the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) have been walking out on alternate weeks, but voted to escalate the industrial action with an indefinite, uninterrupted strike that began on 5 September.
The continuous walkout effectively means that cases will grind to a halt.
The UK is already facing a huge backlog in the justice system, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Why are they striking?
Barristers are striking over funding for legal aid.
Legal aid helps people who cannot afford lawyers pay for legal advice, mediation and court representation.
Lawyers have called for an increase in pay to meet with the growing demand of the cost of living crisis.
The CBA has said that many are being forced to leave the profession after a 30% fall in income over the past twenty years.
Jo Sidhu QC and Kirsty Brimelow QC from the CBA explained: “This extraordinary commitment to the democratic process reflects a recognition amongst criminal barristers at all levels of call and across all Circuits that what is at stake is the survival of a profession of specialist criminal advocates and of the criminal justice system which depends so critically upon their labour.
“Without immediate action to halt the exodus of criminal barristers from our ranks, the record backlog that has crippled our courts will continue to inflict misery upon victims and defendants alike, and the public will be betrayed.
Criminal barristers are due to receive a 15% fee rise from the end of September, meaning they will earn £7,000 more per year.
But there has been anger that the proposed pay rise will not be made effective immediately and will only apply to new cases, not those already sitting in the backlog waiting to be dealt with by courts.
Note: this article has been updated to make it clear the detailed breakdowns on earnings for barristers of various experience come from the website Jobted, rather than the Criminal Barrister Association.