Bar Council and BSB confirm big drop in number of new tenancies

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2 July 2014


Chambers: women losing out on tenancies

The number of tenancies available for newly qualified barristers fell dramatically in the most recent year for which figures are available – but not as badly as had been feared.

Some three months after having released the wrong figure in their annual Bar Barometer, the Bar Council and Bar Standards Board confirmed today that there were 335 newly-registered tenancies for 2011/12.

This was down 38.1% from 541 in 2010/11 and well below the five-year average of 499.

The Bar Barometer had originally reported there were only 194 new tenancies in 2011/12, before the figure was hastily withdrawn after this website’s story on what appeared to be the collapse in tenancies was picked up by a host of other legal news outlets.

Further revisions show that while men were notably more successful in securing the reduced number of tenancies, again the divide was not as stark as had originally been painted.

While in the previous year women accounted for 52% of new tenants, in 2011/12 the figure fell “abruptly” to 44%, the Barometer said.

The original figures had also indicated a widening of the gap between successful white and BME barristers, but the full picture now shows that there was not – the 11% of new tenants from a BME background was in line with previous years.

More than three-quarters (76%) of new tenants in 2011/12 were aged between 25 and 34, with a further 9% between 35 and 44. There were six new tenants aged between 55 and 64, while 14 were younger than 25.

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