Research and analysis

Composition and remuneration of junior barristers under the Advocates' Graduated Fee Scheme in criminal legal aid

This paper presents the findings from research undertaken by the Bar Council and Ministry of Justice Research and Data Working Group.


The group was formed in collaboration with the Bar Council, the Criminal Bar Association, the Legal Aid Agency and the Ministry of Justice. The group was tasked with achieving a better understanding of fees incomes from criminal legal aid and the demographic characteristics of these barristers.

The aim of the paper is to improve knowledge of the demographic composition of barristers working under criminal legal aid and their fee incomes from the Advocates’ Graduated Fee Scheme (AGFS). The AGFS governs fees paid to advocates (barristers or solicitor advocates) who represent clients in criminal proceedings in the Crown Court, apart from cases which have been classified as very high cost criminal cases.