Many of Northern Ireland's top lawyers earned more than £15m between them from legal aid payments in the last financial year.
The NI Legal Services Commission has released details of payments from the public purse made to both barristers and solicitors' practices.
One QC received £800,000 for the 12 months to March 2008.
Solicitors Kevin Winters and Company were the top grossing legal aid practice for two years running.
They received more than £3m.
The commission says some payments could cover years of work.