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HMRC internal manual

VAT Taxable Person Manual

Particular trades: employment status of barristers’ clerks and senior clerks

Our policy

Barristers’ clerks act for all the barristers in particular chambers. They have certain characteristics of self-employed persons; and HMRC regard them as falling within the scope of Employment Income for Direct Tax purposes: we should follow that ruling for VAT purposes.

Senior barristers’ clerks may be employed or self-employed depending on the terms and conditions under which they are engaged. To be self employed, the senior clerk would operate under a contract for services to the barristers which requires him/her to provide at his/her own cost and expense a full clerking service including junior clerks and other ancillary staff. When employed, the senior clerk may have separate contracts of employment with each barrister served.