Barbarians at the gate : The attack on professionalism

The Bar is a profession. It is not simply a job. Indeed in many areas of publicly funded work there is no certainty of economic security and for many the rewards are relatively modest. Back in 1917 Sidney and Beatrice Webb in a New Statesman article described a profession as “a vocation founded upon specialised…Continue Reading

Reforming regulation to bring innovators to the market

David Webster recently put forward some interesting views on trends in regulation, citing me as saying that alternative business structures (ABSs) have not worked (“Solicitor and the Bar regulation grow ever closer” 28 August). Perhaps I could set out the context for my remarks. My point was twofold – firstly that we took some time…Continue Reading

The irony of the Snoopers’ Charter

  A bill allowing for such extensive powers to intercept and store communications was inevitably going to incite fierce debate within political and legal spheres. Perhaps the Home Secretary’s foreword to the Draft Bill itself gave an indication of what a provocative topic it would become: “The means available to criminals, terrorists and hostile foreign…Continue Reading

Solicitor and the Bar regulation grow ever closer

  In recent months there have been reports in the legal press which give the impression that the traditional separation between solicitors and the Bar is eroding at a fairly rapid rate. But are these simply changes at the margins, or an indication of a more fundamental shift within the legal profession? Recent developments include:…Continue Reading

Problem-solving family courts prove their worth in the UK: New findings

Supporters of Family Drug and Alcohol Courts (FDACs) have long championed them as a better way of dealing with complex care proceedings. Now new research from the Centre for Justice Innovation demonstrates that not only do they offer better outcomes for children and families, they also make good economic sense, providing £2.30 of real savings…Continue Reading

Televised Court Cases – an adjunct to justice long overdue

The case for televising court proceedings in the UK may seem pretty much unanswerable to anyone with a commitment to open justice – the centuries old principle that justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done – and yet progress toward such coverage becoming a reality remains halting and painfully…Continue Reading

How can Chambers effectively prevent a data breach?

  Data hacks and breaches in the legal sector are not new, but you’d be forgiven for thinking they’re enjoying something of a renaissance at the moment. Just last month, US-based security firm Flashpoint warned that a Russian cybercriminal had targeted 48 elite law firms, including Hogan Lovells, Allen & Overy and Freshfields, in order…Continue Reading

10 years of the JAC: a retrospective

A little over 10 years ago the Judicial Appointments Commission was set up to maintain and strengthen judicial independence by taking responsibility for selecting candidates for judicial office and to make the appointments process clearer and more accountable. In the decade since, a significant amount has been achieved, not least that more than 4,300 recommendations…Continue Reading

You’ve been asked to manage a Chambers?…. Good Luck!”  

 The title is an all too common reaction we get. So for many Barristers another article on Chambers Management will no doubt raise a degree of cynicism; “yet more corporate meddling, restructuring a system that has delivered justice effectively for so long”. If there was an equivalent media focus on strategies to enhance Members personal…Continue Reading

The world of litigation funding and its impact on the Bar

Barristers play a vital role when it comes to securing alternative funding options such as third party funding or ATE insurance.  As a key cog in the legal budget, Counsel’s fee arrangement can directly impact upon the economics of a case, which following Jackson’s reforms are increasingly significant.  However, economics aside, even the most fundamental…Continue Reading

Ministerial Code – Leave to Appeal

  When The Spectator published the 2015 Ministerial Code story, a Rule of Law debate was a probable outcome. An instinctive consequence, perhaps. Discussion however, though we may wish that it would can not remedy all of life’s ills. Much like the law, no doubt. Nonetheless one must engage with these recourse’s. They are surely…Continue Reading

False allegations of sexual abuse- The rise of the fine lie

   “After all, what is a fine lie? Simply that which is its own evidence.” Oscar Wilde, The Decay of Lying (1891) The present preoccupation with sex crime and victims of crime has given rise to a new type of victim: the falsely accused. These victims rarely receive the attention from policy-makers that they deserve,…Continue Reading

Digital Evidence:  What’s new?

  Four years ago in these pages I wrote an article about the challenges of managing evidence from computer devices of all kinds. Now I get an invitation to do an update – and I have been surprised to realise how much has changed. The earlier article had begun with the demographics of computer ownership…Continue Reading

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