News update from The Bar Council
The Bar Council provides a regular News Update on general legal issues that will be of interest to our members.
The most recent News Updates can be viewed below. If you would would like to sign up to receive this News Update by email, please contact The Bar Council.
18 June 2018
As The Times reports that junior city solicitor salaries are topping £140,000, Chair of the Bar, Andrew Walker QC has pointed out that these figures are poles apart from what legal aid lawyers are earning.
He said: “The salaries now being paid by some firms to trainees and the most junior lawyers stand in stark contrast with what can be earned in publicly funded practice.”
Justice, law and order
The Independent (App edition) – Andreas Whittam Smith has referenced the Bar Council’s concerns about the state of the justice system in a critique on how well recent Conservative Governments have met their commitments to prioritising law and order.
Andreas writes: ‘As the Bar Council noted despairingly, it is concerned by the state of the “whole of the justice system” and its lack of priority in government, its desperate need for proper, increased funding and “the state of our courts and infrastructure and access to those courts”. In short, the whole justice system is in a mess.’
Personal Support Unit
PA Newswire has reported figures released by the Personal Support Unit (PSU) which show that in the 12 months to April 2013 the unit helped nearly 13,000 times and in the 12 months to April 2018 the charity helped on more than 65,000 occasions.
PA quoted extracts from a Counsel Magazine article written by then Chair of the Bar, Andrew Langdon QC, who wrote: "The proliferation of litigants in person and the disappointing lack of recognition of the value of skilled advocates who assist the court are as disabling to the delivery of publicly funded justice as a flat tyre to a charabanc.”
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11 June 2018
Western Mail x 2 – Further coverage appears in the Welsh media of the Bar Council sharing the concerns of the Wales & Chester Circuit on numerous problems of access to justice in Wales in its submission to the Commission on Justice in Wales’ call for evidence. The Western Mail also devotes its editorial column to the issue.