Barrister Salary Ranges: What to Expect in Today’s Legal Job Market

The role of a barrister in the UK is highly respected, known for its complexity, demanding nature, and significant responsibility within the legal system. As of 2024, the salary for barristers in the UK presents a wide range, reflecting the varied levels of experience, specialization, and success in the field.

Here’s a detailed exploration of the financial landscape for barristers.

Average Salary

The average salary for a barrister stands at £89,400 gross per year, marking a significant increase of more than 200% above the national average salary. This figure represents the median, suggesting a broad spectrum of earnings within the profession.

Starting Salary

New barristers can expect an average starting salary of £40,300. This initial compensation sets the foundation for future earnings growth as barristers gain experience and establish themselves within their respective legal specialties.

Highest Salaries

At the upper end, barrister salaries can exceed £200,000, with total compensation including salary, bonus, and profit sharing. This demonstrates the high earning potential for barristers who excel in their field, particularly those who specialize in lucrative areas of law or who have built a strong reputation.

Salary Variability

The wide discrepancy in income among barristers is largely due to differences in their areas of practice, level of experience, and success in court. While some barristers take home over £1 million per year, a significant portion earns less than £30,000, highlighting the competitive and performance-based nature of the profession.

Regional Differences

Though specific regional data was not provided, it’s generally understood that salaries in London, as the legal capital of the UK, are higher than the national average. This reflects the higher cost of living in the capital and the concentration of high-profile legal cases and clients.


In 2024, the career of a barrister in the UK remains one of the most prestigious and financially rewarding in the legal sector. With a considerable range in earnings, from starting salaries to top-tier income, the profession offers substantial growth potential. This variance underscores the importance of specialization, experience, and individual success in determining one’s financial compensation.

Whether advocating in courtrooms or providing expert legal advice, barristers play a crucial role in the UK’s legal system, with their compensation reflecting the value of their expertise and dedication.

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