Jnr counsel role getting the elbow

Senior counsel are increasingly doing work usually done by junior barristers, raising concerns among judges and chambers for the future of the lower end of the profession`

The comments, fielded at a forum of litigators and barristers organised by SJ Berwin, included claims that City solicitors are more likely to use silks and senior-juniors during preliminary hearings.

Furthermore, the number of such hearings are drying up as the profession feels the consequences of the Woolf reforms, which apply cost awards after each hearing.

Founder of the Comm-ercial Litigators' Forum Hil-ton Mervis said: “Barristers are feeling uncertainty at the Bar, causing juniors increasingly to join larger [solicitors'] firms, where they will have secure incomes and opportunities to do some advocacy.”