In brief: Minister of State

Minister of State at the Lord Chancellor's Department, Geoff Hoon says the Government will look into how it can prevent silks getting inflated fees purely because they are QCs. He wants to look into whether it could be dealt with via Rules of Court instead of through legislation. As predicted in The Lawyer (19 April), the Government introduced a clause into the committee stage of the Access to Justice Bill requiring would-be QCs to pay the estimated £120,000 cost of their selection process instead of the tax payer. Labour MPs lost their latest bid to abolish QCs and barristers' wigs as the Bill proceeded through its Commons committee stage.