The bar is attempting to forge a series of informal associations between the UK’s circuits – the bar’s regional representative bodies – and the first wave of EU accession countries.
The plan, which is the brainchild of Bar Council chairman Stephen Irwin QC, is to link each circuit to the representative body of a region within the accession countries.
The idea is to provide a forum for sharing training, education and advice on self-regulation. If the scheme works, then it will be widened to countries acceding in the second phase.
Timothy Dutton QC, chairman of the South Eastern Circuit, which represents roughly half the bar, said: “The real advantage will be on mutual training and social exchanges.” His circuit has a similar tie-up – established in the early 1990s – with the Florida bar.
The scheme will include all six circuits of England and Wales, as well as their equivalents in Northern Ireland and Scotland. It will be implemented by the international relations committee, chaired by 6 King’s Bench Walk barrister Dorian Lovell-Plank QC.