The Lawyer’s new China Elite report contains the most detailed research available on the PRC legal market and contains unparalleled insight into the country's leading law firms. They vary in size, practice focus and geographic coverage, but they all share one common quality – ambition... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
Had the Bar Council leadership had the common sense to trust its own members it might have been saved the humiliation of losing the vote at the General Meeting on Tuesday.
Implementing a new complaints procedure was never going to be popular and once it became apparent there was a concerted campaign to destroy the proposals, a ballot of the entire Bar should have been held not a general meeting.
Peter Goldsmith should know how easy it is to 'pack' a meeting to achieve a distorted result. A ballot would have allowed the provincial and employed Bar to have a voice in the decision, rather than leave it to the Inner London Chambers mafia who are able to attend a meeting in London, and the Bar Council would have gained an important advantage.
As it is, the council was forced to call the meeting and is now forced to hold a ballot. It has lost the moral high ground and will probably lose the ballot also.
However, opponents of the new complaints procedure should look to history before celebrating too much. The Bar refused to accept the fairly mild proposals of the Marre Committee in 1988 and the result was the Courts and Legal Services Act and a significant loss of professional independence.
I anticipate that within five years a government quango will have been created to deal with complaints against solicitors and barristers and that a quango will be far more expensive and intrusive than the Bar Council proposals.
After the AGM and the EGM we now have the situation where the profession has decided that if a barrister does a lousy, incompetent job the Bar will do nothing. If, however, a barrister deals with the public directly and does a perfectly competent job he will be disbarred. Nobody will convince the public that that is in the public interest.