Clarke: there are too many would-be barristers

Print This Post

By Legal Futures

11 October 2011


Lodder: barristers feel abandoned by government

There are too many barristers in private practice, Lord Chancellor Ken Clarke has said.

In a report to barristers on a meeting with the justice secretary, Bar Council chairman Peter Lodder QC said Mr Clarke had also claimed it was “cloud cuckoo land” for chambers to think they could continue as they used to.

Mr Lodder said: “Although Ken Clarke praised the efforts which the Bar has made to improve access to the profession, he expressed the view that too many are trying to practise at the self-employed Bar.

“I emphasised that the quality of applicants has never been higher but practitioners feel that the government (and the Lord Chancellor) do not value the service they provide, often in very difficult circumstances, at the front line of public service. They feel abandoned.”

Mr Clarke also said the Bar had to face changes in its markets and that chambers simply could not carry on as they used to, Mr Lodder recounted. “It was ‘cloud cuckoo land’ to pretend that the world had not changed. He compared the current situation at the Bar to the run-up to the Big Bang in the City in the mid-1980s. Many barristers appeared to him to be like ancient stockbrokers.”

The report said that Mr Clarke was looking forward to seeing serious competition in order to maintain quality at the Bar, with the Ministry of Justice’s consultation on competition in criminal defence services to be launched by the end of the year. Implementation of any scheme will probably take place in 2013, or possibly 2014.

Mr Lodder told barristers: “This is clearly not what the profession wishes to hear, but it is the view of the Government and it is better that you are aware of it.

Tags: ,



Leave a comment

* Denotes required field

All comments will be moderated before posting. Please see our Terms and Conditions

Legal Futures Blog

Rating lawyers by their wins and losses – a good idea?

Robert Ambrogi

Lawyers will give you any number of reasons why their win-loss rates in court are not accurate reflections of their legal skills. Yet a growing number of companies are evaluating lawyers by this standard – compiling and analysing lawyers’ litigation track records to help consumers and businesses make more-informed hiring decisions. The shortcomings of evaluating lawyers by win rates are many. Not least of them is that so few cases ever make it to a win or loss. Of equal concern is that, in the nuances of law practice, it is not always obvious what constitutes a win or a loss.

February 22nd, 2017