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

Low-overhead barrister law firm aims “to pass on cost savings to commercial clients”

David Dabbs

Two barristers have launched a Bar Standards Board-regulated entity offering commercial advice as an alternative to traditional chambers, hoping to pass on the savings from low overheads to clients. Lorna Hackett and David Dabbs have formed Hampshire-based Hackett & Dabbs.

February 3rd, 2017

Supreme Court adds to Bar regulator’s legal costs and training headaches

Supreme Court sign

The Bar Standards Board has found itself under attack from multiple directions this week, including the Supreme Court announcing yesterday that it would hear an appeal about a case involving claims of race discrimination in its disciplinary processes.

February 2nd, 2017

Senior judge launches extraordinary attack over “blackmail” by solicitors and tells barristers to stop defending them

Mr Justice McCloskey

A senior judge has accused solicitors of “blackmailing” the immigration tribunal in an extraordinary attack that also branded their conduct as “disgraceful” and “shameful” in not pursuing the appeals they had lodged.He also warned that some barristers had wrongly seen their role as protecting their instructing solicitors.

January 16th, 2017

Disciplinary round-up: fine for firm which failed to make client’s visa application and then lost his passport

Airport sign

A north London law firm has been rebuked for misleading its client into thinking that it had made a visa application on his behalf. It is one of a series of recent disciplinary cases, including the bankrupt insolvency barrister fined for not paying over fees to his trustee in bankruptcy.

January 13th, 2017

CMA responses: Law Society and SRA at odds, but McKenzie Friends are happy


The Competition and Market Authority’s report on legal services yesterday provoked a predictably mixed response that pitted the Law Society against the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and found support from the body representing paid McKenzie Friends. Meanwhile, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers called on the Legal Services Board to use its powers to force regulatory independence to happen.

December 16th, 2016

“No plan B” – incoming Bar chair outlines concerns over court modernisation

Andrew Langdon QC

The incoming chairman of the Bar last night questioned the way court modernisation is being carried out, expressing concern that there is “no plan B” if digitisation does not work and that the justice system would lose its essence by moving to online hearings. His wide-ranging inaugural speech also focused on the travails of the junior Bar.

December 15th, 2016

Review urges higher fees and mandatory training to combat “poor-quality” advice in Youth Courts

police station

The status and quality of legal representation for children before the Youth Court need to be raised first by an increase in legal aid rates and then by mandatory training for all solicitors and barristers appearing for them, a government-commissioned review has recommended.

December 14th, 2016