There has been an understandable backlash to the recent Bar Standards Board report into Perceptions of Criminal Advocacy. I won’t reiterate what other far more seasoned and perceptive bloggers Richard Moorhead and Louise Restell have said on the subject. Des Hudson, chief executive of the Law Society, puts it rather succinctly describing it as “deeply flawed and self-serving”. It is hard to argue with that as 82% of those that participated in the survey were barristers and they will obviously want to protect what they perceive to be their work.
Before we get the tar and feathers out and force the Bar into the stocks (have I mixed metaphors there?) it is worth considering the response of the Law Society into Bar Standards Board plans to allow barristers with less than 3 years call to provide services direct to the public. The phrases “an abdication of regulatory responsibility” and “places the public at risk” were used about a month ago to describe the BSB plans.
I appreciate that there is a difference between the two sets of circumstances however at a time when the legal profession is facing huge pressures with the LASPO cuts and the entrance of the Co-op and other large corporations into the legal market, shouldn’t lawyers be working together. These playground spats can only be damaging to the legal profession and so I think its time that both sides shook hands and agreed to play nice from now on.