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The bar is the preserve of tradition in the profession, but increasingly barristers are being forced to compete with their solicitor counterparts.
As the bar considers how best to deal with this transformative period, we spoke to four chambers heads about their vision for the future.
Brick Court joint head Jonathan Hirst QC – whose joint head Nicholas Green QC is about to join the bench – believes that the commercial bar will be unaffected by the pressures of competition, insisting that there will be new methods of collaboration between counsel and litigator.
Hardwicke’s Nigel Jones QC suggests that the civil bar will shrink and become more specialist, while Luke Parsons QC of Quadrant Chambers says the disparity between the commercial bar and public sector sets will be huge. Keating Chambers head Paul Darling QC admits that he has “no idea” what’s going to happen.
Perhaps the best lesson comes from Jones, who says it straight: “The secret is: forget the illusory comfort of the past. Analyse skills and strengths, adapt, retrain if necessary, establish a business plan and implement it.”l
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