Criminal barristers in England and Wales acting on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will receive a 15% pay increase to help clear a backlog of cases.
The increase in fees brings prosecuting barristers in line with the pay rise for defence barristers announced last year. Criminal barristers voted to end months of strike action in October 2022 after accepting a 15% pay rise for defence work.
The director of public prosecutions Max Hill KC confirmed on Saturday (4 February) that the CPS had “secured necessary additional funding” from the Treasury allowing it “to press ahead with increases in prosecution fees to restore parity with defence fees”.
Criminal barristers’ pay
Barristers vote to end strike action
Following the uplift in legal aid fees for defence barristers last year, prosecuting barristers had become reluctant to take instructions from the CPS, leading to a shortfall of counsel and cases being adjourned.
The 15% pay increase for prosecuting barristers will also apply to backlogged cases and is expected to be implemented within eight weeks.
In an update to members, Kirsty Brimelow KC, leader of the Criminal Bar Association, said: “I am pressing for quicker implementation. Whilst the CPS continues to work with the CBA to speed up the process, the increased funding is a significant positive move in the trudge to a functioning criminal justice system.”
She welcomed the pay rise for prosecutors saying it has been “hard fought”. She called for parity in fees for prosecution and defence to be the default position and that trials being adjourned due to a lack of prosecutors “strikes a fatal blow to the heart of justice”.
The CBA said it was already working on the detail of the prosecuting barristers’ pay increase with the CPS.
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