For some time the possibility of barristers practising through incorporated entities has existed, but only if that entity was regulated by an approved regulator such as the SRA, rather than the BSB. Although some barristers have forged ahead by innovating and adopting new methods of service provision, the general impression is that take up of these opportunities has been fairly limited.
The achievement of gender equality at the highest levels of British business and government has been a much debated issue for some time. However, the publication of Lord Davies’ first Women on Boards Report 2011 and the subsequent 2015 target of 25% board representation has resulted in a more intense degree of scrutiny and media interest – as well as much debate.
The commoditisation of the forensic market in England and Wales means that police Casework Submission Units select forensic services from a menu of largely fixed-cost options. If their administrators are not aware of the potential strengths and limitations of forensic analysis, and submissions are under extreme financial scrutiny, the question of science- versus cost-led investigation arises. Are robust strategy decisions being made, or is cost the defining factor? Is forensic science being rationed to the detriment of the court?
As with any business, premises issues are of fundamental importance to a Chambers. Not only is premises one of the largest overheads, but it can also play an important role in attracting and retaining members.
Chambers are no different from any other commercial organisation and should have in place a clear set of arrangements dealing with what will happen should Chambers dissolve.
The need for a more diverse judiciary which reflects our society is a common topic of discussion in the legal press. It is an issue of interest to me as a Diversity and Community Relations Judge for Inner London Crown Court.