Solicitors’ code leaves bar owed

The poor old bar is having a rough time when it comes to getting paid.



The poor old bar is having a rough time when it comes to getting paid. First of all a huge chunk of chambers are not sure that legal aid will be available to them. Now an oversight in the Solicitors’ Code of Conduct, which replaced the Guide to the Professional Conduct of Solicitors in July, has seen them shunned again.

Apparently there is no longer a professional conduct requirement to pay barristers proper fees.

Paragraph 20.06 in the old guide ensured that counsel could take action against solicitors who did not pay, but this was omitted in the new code.

As a result Bar Council fees collection manager Janice Marshall is urging barristers and chambers to use contracts with law firms or else face having barely a leg to stand on.

In an advisory note, Marshall wrote: “Many times counsel have been unable to obtain prompt payments… this position of counsel is now further weakened.”

The omission of such a small paragraph has had a dramatic impact. Oops.Get the latest news and an irreverent commentary delivered to your desktop every day by subscribing to Lawyer News Daily.

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