Employed barristers to get ethics lessons

Bar's employed barrister group gets new chair as City Firms Bar Group is formed

The top lawyer in the Welsh Assembly is drawing up ethical guidance for employed barristers, which is due to be debated next month.
It comes at an important juncture for the employed bar, with the appointment of Rosalind Wright, director of the Serious Fraud Office, as chair of the Bar Council's employed bar committee. It also coincides with the launch of the City Firms Bar Group, which represents the interests of barristers in the top 25 law firms.
Winston Roddick QC, counsel general of Wales and chief legal adviser to the Welsh Assembly, is the author of the new guidelines, which will exist in addition to the Bar Council's ethical guidance.
Commenting on Roddick's work, which is due to be put before employed barristers' groups in February, Wright said: “We're trying to make the ethics specific to the interests of the employed bar. They have a slightly different slant to their work than independent barristers, as employed barristers conduct litigation and act as legal advisers to their employers.”
The employed bar wants to highlight that its responsibilities are to the court as well as to their employers.
The City Firms Bar Group has about 125 employed barristers involved, half of the total number in City firms. The group provides them with a networking forum that they did not have before. David Bean QC will address the group at its next meeting on 6 February. It has already set up a dining club with the Inner Temple to build bridges with the independent bar and the judiciary.
By way of her new appointment, Wright automatically becomes a member of the general management committee of the Bar Council. Besides raising the committee's profile, Wright will also draw on her wide knowledge of the various employed barristers' constituencies.
Also high profile is Louise Fluker, general counsel for the De La Rue Group, a provider of security printers and paper, who has been appointed vice-chair of the committee. She was the former in-house counsel to the Civil Aviation Authority.
Anthony Inglese, the previous Deputy Treasury Solicitor, who has just been appointed solicitor for the Department of Trade and Industry, shares the vice-chair post with Fluker.