The profession has raised concerns over government plans to test flexible operating hours in courts and tribunals, under which some courts will stay open as late as 8.30pm.

The Law Society said the pilot scheme must maintain a clear focus on impact while the Bar Council warned that parent barristers could be placed at a disadvantage.

The pilots are expected to begin in May, in six courts over six months. Crown courts will be open until 6pm, civil courts until 7pm and magistrates’ courts until 8.30pm.