Last chance saloon – criminal Bar stage major protest against final legal aid reform package

Resentment against the Government’s final package of legal aid cuts has reached new heights as hundreds of criminal barristers and lawyers today (7 March) staged a major protest outside Westminster, their second protest this year, with a further call made for Law Society president Nicholas Fluck and chief executive Desmond Hudson to resign. Continue reading “Last chance saloon – criminal Bar stage major protest against final legal aid reform package”

Guest post: Too close for comfort – Research concludes the Bar Council has ‘undue influence’ over regulation

The Bar may be collegiate, but are the Bar Council and the Bar Standards Board (BSB) too close? Have you read last month’s Legal Services Board (LSB) report that found the Bar Council encroached on the BSB’s regulatory independence? I doubt it; it’s a lengthy document and it’s taken me three weeks to find the time. But for those questioning the continuing need for the LSB – chief among whom are, of course, the Bar Council and BSB – it is a must-read.

The report, following an investigation lasting around five months, relates to changes made by the BSB to its regulatory arrangements, approved by the LSB, to bring into force the new contractual terms for barristers, including a controversial change to the cab-rank rule. Continue reading “Guest post: Too close for comfort – Research concludes the Bar Council has ‘undue influence’ over regulation”

IBA 2013: ‘We need to be the tip of the spear’ – the global anti-corruption push is gathering pace

IBA 2013: ‘We need to be the tip of the spear’ – the global anti-corruption push is gathering pace

With a packed programme at the International Bar Association’s (IBA) annual conference in Boston, working out which of the many (and sometimes dry) debates to attend is a challenge, but one of the stand-outs from the first day was the discussion on anti-corruption.

That this session was packed is unsurprising; one of the major forces currently shaping the legal profession at a global level has been the sustained crackdown on corruption in many forms, be it graft, tax avoidance or cartels. Continue reading “IBA 2013: ‘We need to be the tip of the spear’ – the global anti-corruption push is gathering pace”

SFO to recruit 10 more barristers in defence of Tchenguiz brothers multi-million pound claim

SFO to recruit 10 more barristers in defence of Tchenguiz brothers multi-million pound claim

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is to recruit an additional 10 junior barristers to join the team involved in the defence of the multi-million damages claims brought by the Tchenguiz brothers.

Last year property tycoons Robert and Vincent Tchenguiz sued the SFO for more than £200m after the agency made serious mistakes in its investigation of their role in the collapse of Icelandic bank Kaupthing, of which they were executives. Continue reading “SFO to recruit 10 more barristers in defence of Tchenguiz brothers multi-million pound claim”

Uniting a profession, for what that’s worth – Bar and solicitors come together to oppose controversial legal aid reforms

Uniting a profession, for what that’s worth – Bar and solicitors come together to oppose controversial legal aid reforms

It’s no mean feat to get the various branches of the profession and legal regulators singing from the same hymn sheet but controversial government proposals to slice £220m off the annual criminal legal aid budget have managed just that. As the consultation today (4 June) closes on the Ministry of Justice’s (MoJ’s) ‘Transforming Legal Aid‘ proposals, the Law Society, Bar Council and Bar Standards Board (BSB) have combined to condemn the move. Continue reading “Uniting a profession, for what that’s worth – Bar and solicitors come together to oppose controversial legal aid reforms”

Brazilian Bar expected to vote to end foreign associations

With the International Relations Committee of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB) due to vote on suggested changes to the country’s Bar rules, LB has obtained a copy of the proposals up for discussion.

Drafted by attorney Carlos Roberto Siqueira Castro, partner in Rio de Janeiro-headquartered litigation outfit Siqueira Castro Advogados, the report pushes for a major reinforcement of the existing rules governing international law firms practising in the country.

Continue reading “Brazilian Bar expected to vote to end foreign associations”

Brazil – A different beat

Brazil – A different beat

The Brazilian Bar is taking a stand against foreign firms that work alongside local associated practices. Few in the market are now prepared to bang the drum for local alliances

Hostility within the Brazilian legal market, especially São Paulo, could hardly be more intense. The Brazilian Bar Association, Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil (OAB), recently reiterated its opposition to local lawyers forming alliances with the local offices of foreign law firms. It puts Linklaters, Mayer Brown, DLA Piper, Uría Menéndez and their local associated practices – Lefosse Advogados, Tauil & Chequer, Campos Mello Advogados and Dias Carneiro Advogados respectively – very much in the firing line.

Continue reading “Brazil – A different beat”