Barristers making money out of 'family court misery'

Barristers have been making millions out of cases going into family courts, it has emerged.

Fees paid by taxpayers as legal aid to barristers in family court cases have increased by almost a third in the last five years to reach nearly £100 million a year.

Figures from the Ministry of Justice revealed that barristers appearing in courts can claim bonuses, including one that pays extra to cases which have more than 176 pages to their court papers.

Matt O'Connor of Fathers 4 Justice told the Daily Mail: "You would hope that the professionals involved in the family courts would have a duty of care to the children and parents involved."

He said that barristers were taking payments that could "deepen the misery" of families involved in court cases.

Figures show that 3,000 barristers who appear as advocates in the family courts received a fifth of the £535 million paid in legal aid.

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Published on: July 1, 2008

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