Solving the problems with Direct Access

The market for legal services is significant with the spend on lawyers (Barristers and Solicitors) in England & Wales around £32bn last year with £3bn being spent on Barristers and £29bn on Solicitors. For all those providing a route for legal advice, representation and guidance to those who need a solution for their legal dispute…Continue Reading

Pragmatic and profitable, but do DPAs deliver justice?

Imagine if you defrauded HMRC for a large sum, say £500,000, and then you were caught, sent for trial and found guilty: you would expect to receive a lengthy prison sentence. Similarly, if you offered a hefty bribe to an MP, a company director, or a public official, you would expect the same treatment. As…Continue Reading

Are barrister’s high levels of stress placing their health at risk?

Introduction Concerns about stress levels within the profession were raised after the Bar’s 2015 wellbeing survey, which found that 1 in 3 respondents found it difficult to stop and control worrying, and that 59% were very self-critical most of the time. Criminal barristers, relative to other areas of practice, were particularly likely to report high…Continue Reading

Litigation Funding –  notable legal developments of 2016

Few facets of the legal industry have experienced as much growth over the last ten years as litigation funding. It is now a global multimillion-dollar industry, is well-established and is a judicially endorsed part of the English litigation landscape. The rapid increase in the utilisation of litigation funding has occurred with remarkably few reported teething…Continue Reading

NSPCC calls for more support for child witnesses

A series of planned court reforms, announced September 2016, will enable vulnerable victims and witnesses – including children – to give their evidence before a trial starts. Cross-examinations would be recorded in advance and then played in court, removing the need to relive trauma, such as abuse, at trial. This is a welcome move to…Continue Reading

Duties of Counsel in Criminal Appeals

Under s.20 of the Criminal Appeals Act 1968: “If it appears to the registrar that a notice of appeal or application for leave to appeal does not show any substantial ground of appeal, he may refer [it] to the Court for summary determination; and … the Court may, if they consider that [it] is frivolous…Continue Reading

“How can we deliver successful change in Chambers?”

 As we all know re-structuring or implementing any strategy in Chambers can be incredibly difficult. Many a new CEO has foundered as they discover the difficulties of getting agreement from the members and then resistance from the incumbent team. So what are the considerations and what needs to be in place to be able to…Continue Reading

Is it time to re-imagine your Chambers?

  When Clerks and Barristers look around the market for their next position they could well be attracted to chambers that share a mind-set with them and are prepared for the future   In 2015; the UK was named the least productive European nation in the G7. This startling and unsatisfactory statistic, combined with the…Continue Reading

Alternative business structures – getting it right

Alternative Business Structures (ABSs) were brought in by the LSA 2007 as a way of modernising the legal market by freeing up law firms to attract external investment and develop innovative business models. It was a controversial step and, nearly ten years later, the legal sector is still debating the pros and cons. The emerging…Continue Reading

Conflicts of law & politics

By convention, the law and politics are kept distinctly separate in the United Kingdom: it is part of our unwritten constitution. But sometimes they can come into conflict, most especially when judicial decisions have a direct political impact. The ruling from three senior judges that the government cannot trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty…Continue Reading

The Law Society’s battle for LPP: why the fight goes on

  In taking on the government over new legislation, which is focused primarily on intercepting communications, the battle for Legal Professional Privilege (LPP) has been keenly fought. In large measure, the lawyers who championed LPP can claim victory. Through their efforts, the new Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (IPA), which came into force on 1st January,…Continue Reading

No Gold Medals for Rio’s Olympic Legacy

 In Rio de Janeiro, the host of the first ever South American Olympic Games this summer, locals know that to sit down on the grass or a bench in a downtown public park is something you just don’t do. Walking – at certain times of day – is okay but if you stop, they say,…Continue Reading

QC calls for radical change in personal injury litigation

  One of the country’s leading personal injury QCs is calling for an end to court intervention in catastrophic personal injury claims.  Bill Braithwaite QC believes the current system is flawed.  He has also held board level discussions with claimant and defendant law firms and major insurers who also believe there is a better way than…Continue Reading

‘Fair allocation of work: A Bar without barriers’

It is commonly accepted that safeguarding the future of the Bar as a profession relies a great deal on ensuring its membership is comprised of a rich tapestry of individuals from diverse cultural, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. The importance of well thought out and implemented policies, built around basic principles of equality and diversity, cannot…Continue Reading

Our justice system needs to modernise

My average day in 2016 is hardly recognisable to that which I experienced in 1992 when I was called to the Bar. The most noticeable differences are the result of the leaps and bounds we as a society have made in relation to the development, and use, of technology. Only a few examples of this…Continue Reading

New research on the experiences of the falsely accused

Two significant pieces of groundbreaking research were published recently, on the experiences of the falsely accused. “The Impact of Being Wrongly Accused of Abuse in Positions of Trust: Victims’ Voices” is published by the Centre for Criminology at Oxford University. Its authors are Professor Carolyn Hoyle, Naomi-Ellen Speechley, and Dr Ros Burnett. The other, “The…Continue Reading

Copyright © 2015 The Barrister. All rights reserved.