Justice for All

Two months ago an award winning legal advice centre in London had to temporarily close its enquiry system for the first time in nine years due to a surge in demand. The consequences of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO), which removed legal aid from hundreds of thousands of people, …Continue Reading

Chambers as service companies

Traditionally Chambers have operated as unincorporated associations, with the Head holding Chambers assets, employing staff and entering into contracts on behalf of Chambers. Leases of premises are commonly entered into by four senior members of Chambers, on behalf of all members. Chambers assets are held on trust for the members and under the constitution members…Continue Reading

Direct Access … are you delivering? 

It is clear that direct access is playing an increasing larger part of the revenue stream for many chambers and barristers, whether it is a greater understanding and acceptance of this cost effective route by those seeking legal assistance or indeed those offering the service are much more aware of the huge opportunity it offers…Continue Reading

Do we need a global Declaration of Internet Rights?

The battleground for us media lawyers has shifted dramatically over the past five years.  The online news and gossip services have stepped in to feed the public’s almost insatiable appetite for drama and scandal, when and where they want it!   However, in tandem with these developments, there have arisen an alarming disrespect for laws and…Continue Reading

Border Crossing : E-Disclosure in complex litigation

  The most recent report into the UK legal Services industry by the lobby group TheCityUK (UK LEGAL SERVICES 2015 LEGAL EXCELLENCE, INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED, published in February 2015) which represents the interests of UK-based financial and related professional services industries makes encouraging reading for UK lawyers, the reports opening paragraphs include the following statement; “The…Continue Reading

Two years on from LASPO, access to justice is suffering

It would be no understatement to say that the Government’s cuts to the legal aid system have been controversial. The provisions of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Bill were met with widespread opposition from the legal profession from the word go. Those from social welfare, children’s rights and church groups were…Continue Reading

Coventry v Lawrence

As the panic that set in following the July 2014 Coventry v Lawrence (No 2)[1] judgment has now abated after the Coventry v Lawrence (No 3)[2] judgment in July this year, it now seems an appropriate time to look back at how the issue arose, how it was developed and how it was dealt with…Continue Reading

Forensic Science in Crisis

Recent publicity surrounding the developing crisis in forensic science in England & Wales suggests that the fears of forensic professionals, about the adverse consequence of Government policies, may finally be receiving some prominence. It is unfortunate and dangerous for our CJS that it has taken so long to achieve any media concern.  One assumes it…Continue Reading

How to manage Public Access clients

Despite the growing number of barristers offering their services direct to the public there is still a great deal of unease amongst barristers around managing clients directly. It is important to consider how best to offer your services in a way that makes managing the clients easy for you and provides the clients with the…Continue Reading

Sexual Offences Sentencing Guidelines

QUESTION: When is an old Guideline still a current Guideline?  ANSWER: When sentencing a youth   Case:  R v Birley: 6th August 2015 Court of Appeal, Lady Justice Hallett – Citation to follow Defendant Sentenced at the age of 67 for offences of historic Incest and Indecent Assault on his younger sister when he was 14/15…Continue Reading

Conduct, Codes and Culpability

As the way legal services are provided begins to change, there are some fundamental questions about how the conduct of barristers will be regulated in the future. Will the conduct of solicitors and barristers come to be assessed on the same basis – and what is misconduct anyway? The changing context As the rules which…Continue Reading

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