In brief: Law Society goes solo on fees advice

The Law Society has issued its own model terms of engagement of counsel for conditional fee agreements and advised solicitors that the Bar's alternative terms “are in some respects disadvantageous to clients”. The society has listed six areas of dispute including the Bar's requirement for an advice fee to be paid even if counsel does not accept instructions and the absence of a guarantee that counsel will meet any extra expense if a brief is returned and replacement counsel is not available. The two branches of the profession had intended to issue a joint model agreement but negotiations broke down.