Crime Does Not Pay

Crime does not pay, as the saying goes.

In March 2022, the Criminal Bar Association voted to take strike action with 94% of members in favour.  The strike was prompted by a dispute over pay.

Although there is a tiny percentage of top-end criminal lawyers who earn six-figure salaries, junior barristers earn about £12,500. That is less than minimum wage! The Bar Association has been hemorrhaging barristers because of this.

Action began with a few days of strikes each week, increasing to full alternating weeks allowing some cases to still be heard. But when this didn’t work, strike action picked up a pace in September when barristers voted to go on indefinite strike until the Government listened to their demands.

In October 2022, the strikes came to a halt. The Government agreed to give a 15% pay rise on existing cases as well as new ones, and additional payment for work that was historically not paid.

The gentleman featured in this portrait was one of the proponents of this strike action. His pupil thought that a Vanity Fair, Leslie ‘Spy’ Ward style commission with him in full regalia holding a protest placard stating ‘Crime does not pay’ would be an apt way to say thank you for all his hard work and support. I felt that the expression of disdain on his face was befitting to the general mood of the bar at this time.

The client asked me to add the caption ‘Unity is our strength’ along the bottom, as that has long been the motto of the Criminal Bar Association.

Crime Does Not Pay | Vanity fair Style Portrait

These are gentle caricatures, nothing too extreme. As Leslie Ward (Spy) said:

If I could sum up the art in a sentence, it would be that caricature should be a comic impression with a kindly touch, and always devoid of vulgarity.Leslie Ward – Wikipedia


To see more of my Vanity Fair style portraits visit my portfolio here.

To see more of Leslie Ward’s Vanity Fair portrait work click here.



Pencil sketch. Scanned. Painted digitally in Photoshop, using graphics tablet and stylus. Textures my own.

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