Law Update: Hard times
Friday 19 November 1993
The report, prepared by a joint working party of the council's young barristers' and legal services committees, says that while the bar as a whole is growing, nearly a quarter of barristers have been qualified for less than five years.
The volume of work in the magistrates' court has declined by 5 per cent over the past two years, says the report, and in the Crown Court, where at present only barristers may appear, the number of Crown Prosecution Service cases has dropped by 10 per cent.
Solicitors are increasingly doing their own advocacy in criminal cases in magistrates' courts, and with the introduction in June of standard fees, young barristers are facing new competition, which is, says the report, 'skewed in favour of freelance solicitor advocates'. Under the standard-fee system, solicitors receive higher fees when they use solicitor agents rather than barristers.
Peter Goldsmith QC, chairman of the working party, says that the bar is ready and able to face increased competition, but it must be fair. The present arrangements are, he says, 'contrary to the rules of fair competition and the philosophy of the Lord Chancellor's own reforms to the legal system.'
Many young barristers are also facing financial difficulties. Not only are they receiving as little as pounds 10 or pounds 20 for magistrates' courts hearings, but they are also burdened with debts incurred in training, largely caused by the decline in availability of local authority grants. The report sets out a number of recommendations to improve the position of the young bar, on whose survival the future of the profession depends, according to Mr Goldsmith.
These include heads of chambers to ensure the fair distribution of work, the Bar Council to press the Government for a fee structure for publicly funded advocacy that does not discriminate between solicitors and barristers; and the young bar to modernise its working practices to meet the needs and expectations of clients.
The report also makes a series of recommendations to the Bar Council: that it should establish a department concerned with management and administration training; re-examine the working practices of the bar as a whole; issue best-practice guidelines for the young bar; and look at providing better publicity for training and education courses. The council should also develop a coherent strategy for the promotion of the bar to potential clients.
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow to replace sun as arctic air mass moves in
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Russian hack of President Obama's emails worse than previously admitted
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow to replace sun as arctic air mass moves in
Nepal earthquake: US Pastor Tony Miano sparks outcry by suggesting Nepalis should convert and not rebuild their 'pagan shrines'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£28000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...
£19500 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Knowledge of and ability to use...
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They pride themselves that they...