'We must learn from problems of solicitor tuition,' Goldsmith warns training seminar

ENDING the Bar's training monopoly must not pitch the profession into the same difficulties being faced by solicitors, Bar Council chair Peter Goldsmith has warned.

Goldsmith issued the warning at a seminar in Holborn earlier this month to discuss the Bar's proposals to end the Inns of Court School of Law's monopoly of vocational training.

He said it was unacceptable for one institution to have a monopoly over the teaching of prospective barristers and other colleges wanted to run the course.

But he added that quality had to be guaranteed.

“We are also seeking a mechanism for limiting the number of institutions able to offer the course in the interests of maintaining high levels of quality and in the interests of students who otherwise may suffer the expense and disappointment of not being able to go on to the next stage of training,” he said.

He added: “We need to learn from the problems currently being experienced by the solicitors' arm of the profession with regard to the legal practice course and the availability of places for trainee solicitors.”

More than 100 delegates, including representatives of teaching institutions, attended the conference.

It followed the Bar's consultation paper on the ending of the monopoly which is planned for 1997.