The Ministry of Justice says that funding for legal aid will remain "very generous" even after the planned cuts.
It highlighted figures showing 1,200 barristers judged to be working full time on taxpayer-funded criminal work received £100,000 each in fee income last year.
Six barristers picked up more than £500,000 each, it said.
But the Criminal Bar Association and Bar Council contest the statistics arguing that when tax and expenses are accounted for, the average barrister earns closer to £36,000 or £27,000 respectively.
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