Barrister conforms to quality standard

MERSEYSIDE QC Bill Braithwaite is the first barrister in the country to get a top quality standard.

Braithwaite, of Exchange Chambers in Liverpool, has been registered to the BS EN ISO 900 standard, formerly known as BS 5750.

"It's taken 18 months to reach the necessary standard required by the British Standards Institute but it's been worth it," says Braithwaite.

"It has been an expensive and time-consuming enterprise and it indicates my commitment to the idea of efficiency."

Although several solicitors' firms have been awarded BS 5750, Braithwaite was informed by the Bar Council that he was the first barrister to earn it.

A spokesman says the Bar is delighted with Braithwa-ite's achievement, but adds: "It may be that BS 5750 is not appropriate for every set of chambers so we are looking into establishing our own standards."

Braithwaite, a specialist in personal injury litigation, says: "The actual content of an advice or performance on your feet in court has to be determined in other ways than a quality assurance certificate.

"I decided to apply for the certificate because I felt I would like to make sure I was operating an efficient system."

He says this means carefully monitoring and logging each individual stage of a case's progress and returning each brief or set of instructions within strict time limits.

"I strongly believe that the legal profession should be developing quality management systems," says Braithwaite.