A barristers’ chambers which offered an unfunded pupillage to a former police chief constable has lost its appeal against a Bar Standards Board decision that the move ran foul of equality rules designed to stop ‘rich kids’ from self-funding.
Regulators need to speed up their processes for approving alternative business structures, the Office of Fair Trading said today. It also called for further simplification of the complaints system, recommended actions to increase the number of available pupillages and gave cautious support for the move away from title-based regulation.
Applicants for pupillage who are white, male, attended a fee-paying school or Oxbridge, or have parents who are educated to degree level are all more likely to succeed than those without such characteristics, Bar Standards Board research has found.
Our regular round-up of news includes Quindell Portfolio’s latest acquisition, Simmons & Simmons moving City work to Bristol, the SRA’s City adviser joining Obelisk Legal, the Law Society withdrawing its PII broker list, and much more besides.
More common training of would-be lawyers, sector-wide CPD, and scrapping the training contract and pupillage, are among the “more radical” options being considered by the Legal Education and Training Review, according to its first discussion paper, issued yesterday.
Common training and even regulation of solicitors and barristers on the cards, says Law Society chief
The time is coming when the distinction between solicitors and barristers will be “more a matter of tribal culture than function”, the Law Society president has predicted, with common education, training and even potentially regulation on the agenda.
People aged 30 or over who choose to re-train as barristers are at a significant disadvantage to younger applicants, according to research from King’s College London. It also confirmed a continuing bias in favour of those with an Oxbridge education, but not gender.
Criminal law barristers have reached a new low of despondency, the chairman of the Bar Council has told Lord Chancellor Ken Clarke. Peter Lodder QC warned that the government’s legal aid cuts could also see the Bar return to “a professional enclave for the better-off” as students are discouraged by mounting debts.
Every chambers in England and Wales is to be quizzed on their approach to equality and diversity as part of a new monitoring scheme being rolled out by the Bar Standards Board. The 791 chambers (of which 391 are registered as sole practitioners) are also to face questions on how they handle complaints, their policies on pupillage, and compliance with anti-money laundering rules.