Serving over 22 millions NRIs worldwide
Most trusted Name in the NRI media
Balbir Singh, a lawyer from Birmingham


NRI Balbir Singh, Birmingham barrister highest paid in UK

London, June 26, 2007
Sunder Singh

NRI, Balbir Singh, a lawyer from Birmingham has become the most highly paid legal aid barrister in UK. He received 1,116,000 pounds in 2005/06 in criminal legal aid fees in 2006. The Ministry of Justice also disclosed figures for the first time on legal aid paid to firms of solicitors.

He is technically known as a junior because he is not among the elite 10 per cent of barristers with Queen’s Counsel status. He is head of Equity Chambers, based in Birmingham, having been called to the Bar just over 22 years ago at the age of 26.

He was involved in a trial at Leeds Crown Court. He is fluent in Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu. It was the second year in a row that the biggest payout to a legal aid barrister has hit seven figures.

In last year's list, Mr Singh came in fifth with earnings of £750,000 - meaning that in two years he has pocketed almost £1.9 million of taxpayers' money, mainly to defend criminal cases.

  • Tuckers, a criminal practice, received almost £7 million in legal aid.
  • Duncan Lewis Solicitors received almost £8.5 million for its work in civil cases such as family law.

The figures will be highly embarrassing for Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor, who has repeatedly promised to stop the £1 million-a-year legal aid barristers.

Andrew Dismore, Labour MP for Hendon, said: "This is an absolute disgrace. Law centres and advice services are being squeezed at the bottom end to pay for multi-million-pound, bewigged fat cats at the other."

Lord Carter said, "Criminal legal aid costs could be cut by 20 per cent over four years, freeing up more than £100 million a year to be redirected to the under-funded areas of civil and family law."

He added: “We would like to see the end of the one million-a-year criminal defence barrister.”

The legal aid totals paid out to barristers and solicitors’ firms were £1.2 billion for criminal cases and £620 million for civil cases.



NRI, Balbir Singh, a lawyer from Birmingham