Bar urged to act on drink

AN ALCOHOLIC barrister is calling on the Bar Council to take action to deal with the increasing number of professionals addicted to drink.

Her call is backed by a man who was forced to leave the profession through drink, and a barrister's clerk. All three wish to remain anonymous.

She says: "The Bar is very ignorant of this whole area and the problems which can be caused by alcohol. A lot of us would like to see the profession recognise what is going on and try to help people.

"We need a more formal scheme to help people out in the open, but it shouldn't just involve discipline."

A former barrister adds: "The message has to be got across that you cannot just reduce your drinking or control it in any way. "

A man who describes himself only as "a senior barrister's clerk" says: "A barrister's training should include briefings on the dangers of alcohol."

A spokesman for the Bar Council says: "We have listened to the suggestions and we will give them serious consideration. We are looking into a joint project with the Law Society, but as there are 10 times fewer barristers than solicitors, we do wonder whether it is worthwhile spending a lot of time on the problem."