Bar pilots 'new partnership' with solicitors

THE BAR aims to promote a “new partnership” with solicitors, introduce a university-style pupillage clearing house, and encourage use of modern management techniques during the course of next year.

It also hopes to put in place a “speedy and affordable” complaints procedure, modelled on the Solicitors Complaints Bureau, by 1996.

Peter Goldsmith QC, the Bar chairman-elect, told the Bar Council of his plans in his inaugural speech, which traditionally sets the agenda for the new chairman's year. He called for a “new partnership with solicitors” involving “co-operation and communication” between the two branches of the profession.

“I propose that we should promote this new partnership by discussions at every level; from the President of the Law Society, whom I shall see, through specialist bar and solicitors' groups, in the Circuits and by individual chambers and solicitors.”

He proposed the pupillage clearing house as an urgently needed solution to the problem faced by pupils and chambers in the scramble for limited vacancies.

Michael Beloff QC will head a working party to devise a clearing house scheme to be piloted next year. It will look into the content and quality of pupillage training and will publish proposals in January on how colleges will be validated to run the Bar finals course.

Robert Owen QC will head a working party looking at the complaints system.