Tackling home title

Momentously, the CCBE has agreed a position on the European Commission's draft directive on rights of establishment.

However, Jonathan Goldsmith, director of international legal practice at the Law Society urges caution. In an article on page 5 he says: "Nobody should get too excited as it is by no means the end of the establishment debate."

The whole sorry tale, which began 17 years ago, is a sad reflection of the negotiating skills of Europe's lawyers, all of whom are determined to hold their corner.

The French delegation in particular showed little inclination for compromise. Even the European Commission, which ignored an agreed draft directive submitted by the CCBE in favour of its own formula, has not emerged with credit.

Let us hope that consensus among CCBE members continues long enough to effect the commission's thinking.