Sets introduce contracts to ensure firms pay up

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  • Contracts betweeen barristers and solicitors (or lay clients) are long overdue. The current anachronistic arrangement leaves the Bar without any simple or effective way of recovering unpaid fees, and is not the best PR for a profession which has claimed to be modernising as long as I have been in it, but is still seen by the public as being old-fashioned.

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  • Contracts are bilateral things. Beware of getting what you ask for

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  • Seven years for something as trivial and easy to fix as this! Heaven help anyone, who thinks the profession is capable of regulating its own affairs!

    And why is that a matter for the regulator anyway - apart from as a job creation exercise? What's wrong with just suing for non-payment, like every other business in the country is allowed to?

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  • What happens when you stick a load of barristers into a room and ask them to decide on something trivial? Seven year long negotiations!

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  • It is about time barristers started standing up for themselves. everybody knows that litigators can get their fees in installments to pay for disbursements and this should include counsel fees. Why then do they refuse to pay up?
    Perceptions are that we are rich barristers who can afford to wait a little while longer. In reality using a junior is cheaper then instructing an associate and many clients would prefer to do that. Those juniors can then wait six months to get paid. Is that fair on a younger barrister trying to make his/her way up the ladder?
    Chambers need to start going public on those who refuse to pay.

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  • It is about time barristers started standing up for themselves. everybody knows that litigators can get their fees in installments to pay for disbursements and this should include counsel fees. Why then do they refuse to pay up?
    Perceptions are that we are rich barristers who can afford to wait a little while longer. In reality using a junior is cheaper then instructing an associate and many clients would prefer to do that. Those juniors can then wait six months to get paid. Is that fair on a younger barrister trying to make his/her way up the ladder?
    Chambers need to start going public on those who refuse to pay.

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  • I am both surprised and delighted that at last a set has decided to get wise to these issues and stand up and be counted.
    It is an absolute disgrace the way some firms conduct themselves.
    They take money on account for disbursements and a counsel fee is included in that.
    But counsel are running scared. Well done Enterprise for taking initiative.

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  • The reason sets won't sue for fees owed is that they are scared to be seen to be having a go at their clients. They are worried they won't get any more work if they sue. They don't like being seen to be proactive.
    It is so much better for the lawyers to be seen to be working together, nobody can dispute that. But that can only happen if individuals are paid.If they are not, what is the point of working your backside off?
    Everybody else in the country could sue if they don't get paid for work done, why should it be such a taboo for barristers to do it?

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  • Boo Hoo Barristers. In my experience law firms bend over backwards to pay barristers before even getting paid themselves and in some instances end up writing it off. I have often seen chasing letters requesting payments even when the deal hasn't reached an appropriate billable period and with the threat of interest, how fair is that? Or maybe I have just worked in proper professional law firms who try to please Barristers.

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  • Why is it that the legal industry needs to be so different from any other? It's about time formal contracts were written up. Quite ridiculous the state of this industry right now. All the more reason to dismantle the regulatory system and start again from scratch.

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