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Cherie Blair, the poll tax and what barristers have to do : LETTERS

I HAD not appreciated until I read the letter from Michael Beckman, QC (Letters, 29 January) that the only reason I obeyed the misnamed cab-rank rule - under which any barrister must act for any client, no matter how unpopular the cause, if available and qualified to do so - was out of financial need. Naively, I had thought that I and other barristers do so because the rule is right in principle and because the Bar's Code of Conduct obliges us to. Nor had I appreciated that our clerks decided whether we obeyed it or not, having assumed that as employers it was up to us to ensure that our agents complied with the rules.

Linden Ife Lincoln's Inn London WC2