Public office role cost Scotland's £127k a year Lord Advocate a six-figure sum in lost earnings
Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain said she had been “very fortunate” to earn “significant sums of money” in her career.
Ms Bain, who took on the role of Lord Advocate in June, also said QCs switching from defence work to prosecute cases as advocate deputes in Scotland’s courts have to take an “enormous financial drop in terms of salary”.
She currently earns £127,765-a-year.
Ms Bain was speaking as the Criminal Justice Committee heard the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service is recruiting new members of staff as it aims to slash the vacancy rate within the organisation from 12.8% to 0.2% in just five months’ time.
Crown agent David Harvie said he has a “fairly high degree of confidence” that can be achieved by March 2022, telling the committee: “We have offers out with individuals that we are confident the numbers will drop down quite considerably before Christmas.”
Ms Bain then offered a “contribution from the position of someone who practised at the bar”.
She said: “As an independent practitioner at the Scottish bar, as a QC in practice, I was very fortunate in my later years of practice to earn significant sums of money, which came from having committed myself to my job for a long, long time and I have to say many hours, and many unsociable hours, of hard, hard work.
“So for me, talking personally, probably my rate of coming into Crown Office as an advocate depute and then committing again to public service, my pay probably is a quarter of what I earned as an advocate in private practice.
“That is the case for many of the people we are recruiting from the bar, to come in and serve as an advocate depute, serving in the public interest and committing to public service, which I have to say is the most rewarding part of any lawyer’s work.”
But she said such work involves “an enormous financial drop in terms of salary” as well as “a huge commitment in terms of time and emotional engagement”.
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