London barrister Elizabeth-Anne Gumbel is the highest legal aid earner in Britain, according to records just released. Ms Gumbel has now earned almost £1.5million in the past four years from legal aid work in civil cases.

London barrister Elizabeth-Anne Gumbel is the highest legal aid earner in Britain, according to records just released. Ms Gumbel has now earned almost £1.5million in the past four years from legal aid work in civil cases. 2

Figures show Elizabeth-Anne Gumbel was paid £493,000 from the public purse for acting in cases arising from clinical negligence, personal injury and child abuse.

According to a table of top earning barristers published by the Government today, Ms Gumbel beat her nearest male counterpart by just £1,000.

Ms Gumbel, considered one of the best barristers in her field, earned the money in civil legal aid cases during 2005 to 2006 while Jeremy Rosenblatt received £492,000.

Two other women were in the top 10 earners. The 10 received almost £4 million in civil legal aid between them, the lowest paid of whom got £306,000.

The figures will reignite the debate about the huge earnings that can be made from publicly-funded work.

Conservative MP John Baron, who tabled the question in the Commons which produced the figures, said: “This shows we have one of the most generous legal aid systems in the world. Doctors and nurses wouldn’t have a hope of getting even close to these sort of salaries.”

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