Rude awakenings for barristers

It seems that the 20th century has finally crept up on barristers, just as solicitors are planning their strategies for the next millennium.

Heavy fire from two major quarters – the Lord Chancellor's Department and the encroachment of solicitors upon their workloads – has made the bar wake up and realise that it must relate to the modern world and compete for clients.

That is why I read with a welcoming mind your article (The Lawyer, 6 December) saying that a leading silk is calling for barristers to be allowed to create partnerships.

I commend Andrew Arden QC for realising that corporate branding, which solicitors displayed since the dawn of time, may be good for chambers too. And that is not the only benefit of a partnership structure.

The shared responsibility felt by partners in law firms creates a sense of camaraderie and striving together that is sometimes needed to compete in this hyper-competitive modern legal marketplace.

I have never worked in a chambers, but as every lawyer there is a sole-practitioner, I find it hard to believe that they can feel the same way as solicitors. If this change is instituted, it may change the whole archaic atmosphere surrounding the bar. But I do not wait with baited breath.

Paul Rodenhurst, Hertfordshire