The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
The Bar Council could introduce a kite mark for chambers with good practice management systems within the next two years.
Dan Brennan QC, vice-chairman of the Bar Council, told the Institute of Barristers' Clerks (IBC) conference the quality standard might be introduced in response to the Government's proposals for legal aid block contracting.
He said the Bar wanted to enter into block contracts directly with the Legal Aid Board (LAB) rather than relying on solicitors working under contract to farm out work.He said such a move would require chambers to meet certain quality standards, similar to the scheme of franchising for solicitors' firms which is run by the LAB.
Once that principle was established, he said, the private sector would also look for assurances of quality.
The Bar Council already produces guidelines on good practice but at present has no system for evaluating chambers, although chambers can apply for accreditation from the International Standards Organisation.
Stephen Graham, chairman of the IBC, welcomed the proposal. "We are happy and relaxed about it," he said. "Most chambers currently have high standards of practice management."
Brennan also revealed the Bar Council would be seriously examining the issue of direct access in the autumn. He said there could be a case for allowing, for example, insurance companies and PLCs to approach barristers directly.