Scotland’s most senior judges have rejected a bid to allow an English barrister to appear before the country’s highest civil court for the first time in nearly 500 years. They said that the College of Justice Act 1532 remains good law.
A report for the Bar Council on the future of criminal justice and advocacy has recommended that legal executives are kept out of the Crown Courts, while solicitors should only be granted rights of audience if they have undergone the same level of training as barristers.
Charles Plant, the chairman of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), has finally said the unsayable and brought into focus what could well be the long-term future of regulation for lawyers – a single regulator for all, rather than the multiplicity we currently have.
Patent attorneys have litigation rights in a wider range of cases than previously thought, including disputes over license agreements and related intellectual property, the High Court has ruled in what is believed to be the first judgement on the scope of patent attorney litigators’ rights.
The new scheme for solicitors to acquire rights of audience will finally go live on 1 April after the Ministry of Justice gave the SRA the go-ahead. Qualification will be through an assessment based on competence standards, with no experience exemption any more.
The Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) is set to apply to the Legal Services Board for the power to grant rights of audience and rights to conduct litigation to licensed conveyancers. It is part of a package of measures aimed at putting the CLC in the position to apply to become an alternative business structures licensing authority.