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HMRC internal manual

Employment Status Manual

Particular occupations: barristers’ clerks

SS (Categorisation of Earners) Regulations 1978 (SI 1978 No.1689) Regulation 5 and paragraph 5 of Schedule 3

Barristers’ Senior Clerks may be employed or self-employed depending on the terms and conditions under which they are engaged. The case of McMenamin v Diggles (64TC286) makes it very unlikely that the position held by any barristers’ Senior Clerk could amount to an office (see ESM2501 onwards).

When employed, the Senior Clerk may have separate contracts of employment with each barrister served.

Where there is doubt or a dispute about the status of a Senior Clerk, the guidance at ESM0118 onwards should be followed.

The tax records of barristers’ Senior Clerks and of the staff working in barristers’ Chambers are concentrated at LC WSNI, Wrexham.

If a barrister’s clerk is employed under a contract of service, for NICs purposes the Head of Chambers is the liable secondary contributor under the above Regulations.