BBC report reveals details of pay for senior in-house lawyers

The BBC’s annual report, which has revealed details of the salaries paid to its biggest stars, has also shed light on the earnings of the corporation’s top lawyers.

The report, published today (19 July), lists all BBC executives paid more than £150,000, including group general counsel Sarah Jones, head of legal Peter Farrell and assistant general counsel Peter Ranyard.

Jones, who earns between £200,000 and £249,999, has been group GC at the BBC since 2012. She joined from Allen & Overy in 1996 and has been in her position throughout various controversies for the broadcaster, including the fallout from the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal.

Farrell and Ranyard, meanwhile, are both paid between £150,000 and £199,999.

Farrell arrived at the BBC in 2006 as head of property legal, before which he was of counsel at legacy firm Lovells, where he acted for clients including the BBC.

Ranyard, who has specific responsibility for the commercial legal, fair trading and competition, and technology legal teams, joined the BBC in 2001 from legacy firm Pinsents, where he was a partner.

The report has raised uncomfortable questions for the BBC with regards to its gender pay policy. Of the 96 individuals earning more than £150,000, only 34 are women, with pay for the top male earner – Chris Evans, on £2.2m-£2.25m – far outstripping that of the top female earner, Claudia Winkleman, who takes home £450,000-£499,999.

The BBC was required to name all employees and presenters paid more than £150,000 by a new Royal Charter introduced by the government last year.

The disclosures come amid a wider push for gender pay transparency in the corporate sphere. In April, new regulations for UK companies were introduced that will require those with more than 250 employees to publish details of the pay gap between their male and female employees. Employers have 12 months to publish key information, including the proportion of men and women in each quarter of their pay structure.