It has been a bad week for…

The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, the credibility of which took a severe battering when the five murder suspects stonewalled questions from Michael Mansfield QC about the circumstances surrounding Lawrence's death. Earlier, members of the militant group Nation of Islam had stormed the inquiry building.

Libel lawyer Peter Carter-Ruck, who has been forced to postpone his retirement from his firm after a dispute with partners over its future direction. Due to become a consultant on 30 June, the 84-year-old doyen of libel lawyers may now have to stay on as senior partner until the end of the year. He has called in Clifford Chance to advise him.

Independent barristers. Bar Council vice-chairman Daniel Brennan QC told a conference of barristers, clerks and practice managers that conditional fees could herald the end of the barrister as an independent advocate.