Leading criminal law firm Tuckers is cutting back the number of criminal chambers its uses and insisting that the counsel it has retained attends its offices for training sessions.
The law firm has cut back its panel of approved sets from 10 to four in London.
The firm – which has offices in London and Manchester – also requires all the barristers that it still instructs to sign service level agreements.
Tuckers' business manager Brian Craig says: “This maintains a certain standard which we expect for ourselves and our clients.
“Any chambers that doesn't deliver on the service level agreement we will get rid of and get another one in.”
Craig – who declines to name the chambers which are involved – says that barristers have to be trained by Tuckers because “this way we can get things done the way we want them”.
The service level agreements require, for example, barristers to supply case information in the data form required by Tuckers.
“We believe we are ahead of the game on this. I don't think anyone else is doing this and it could set a trend,” Craig says.
So far no counsel has objected to the requirements: “They have too much to lose,” Craig says.