Impact of Brexit on legal services “a cause for concern”, justice committee says

Court of Justice

The justice select committee has described the impact of Brexit on legal services as “a cause for concern, but not hyberbole”, in a report published today. MPs said that maintaining cross-border legal practice rights and access to “valuable regulations” on inter-state commercial law should be two of the four main justice aims for government negotiators.

March 22nd, 2017

Public access work grows six-fold in only five years


The value of public access work carried out by barristers as a proportion of the profession’s income grew six-fold over just five years, according to new figures seen by Legal Futures. They come as a Bar Standards Board review of public access found it was working well, but had areas for improvement.

March 21st, 2017

Barristers fined for data protection breaches after case papers end up in bin and online

Internet connection

A criminal law barrister whose case papers were found in bin bags has been fined by a Bar disciplinary tribunal, while the Information Commissioner’s Office has fined another barrister after a software update on her home computer placed hundreds of unencrypted client documents online.

March 16th, 2017

Bar Council warns barristers against “bending the truth” in online marketing

Internet connection

The Bar Council has warned barristers about “bending the truth” when making claims on a personal or chambers website and said they must be able to support claims that they are one of the best in their field.

March 13th, 2017

Legal regulators eye piloting new price and service transparency requirements

Vanessa Davies

Plans to force lawyers to be more transparent about their fees and complaints records could first be piloted across areas of work that have different regulators. The Solicitors Regulation Authority could also widen its plan for an online register of solicitors’ regulatory data to encompass all regulated lawyers.

March 9th, 2017

BSB: “self-certification” the way forward for youth court barristers

Oliver Hanmer

Barristers in the youth courts will have to make a declaration that they have reached the standards set out by the Bar Standards Board to continue providing the service, it has emerged. But there will be no compulsory training so as to avoid discouraging counsel from doing low-paid youth court work.

March 7th, 2017

Solicitor who used firm’s accounts to conceal tax fraud sent to prison

HM Revenue & Customs HMRC

A criminal defence solicitor who used his law firm’s accounts to lie about his income to HM Revenue & Customs and steal more than £60,000 in a tax fraud, has been jailed for 18 months. Meanwhile, two barristers have been disbarred after separate criminal convictions, one involving supplying cocaine.

March 2nd, 2017

Barrister fined for pestering women at chambers summer party cleared by High Court

RCJ portrait

The High Court has overturned a disciplinary tribunal finding against a barrister found to have pestered three women at a chambers summer party. Mrs Justice Lang said Stephen Howd’s “inappropriate, and at times offensive, behaviour was a consequence of his medical condition”, exacerbated by excessive alcohol.

February 14th, 2017

Barristers to pay 12% more for right to practise this year – but figures show 2,500 earn £240k+

Neil Buckley

Some 2,500 barristers will earn more than £240,000 this year, Bar Council figures have shown, and they will have to pay an extra £200 for their practising certificates after the Legal Services Board approved a 12% hike in fees across the board.

February 10th, 2017

Bar Council launches panel of law firms to help barristers “delicately” recover unpaid fees

BAR Council

The Bar Council has appointed Thrings and Veale Wasborough Vizards as the first members of a new panel that will help barristers “delicately” recover unpaid fees from solicitors. More firms are expected to join the panel, and they offer a choice of payment options, including conditional fee agreements and fixed fees.

February 8th, 2017