A row is brewing between the two main legal professions with criminal solicitors accusing the Bar Council of 'self-interested, hubristic triumphalism' in its response to a report that revealed quality problems with advocacy.? ?
A joint statement issued by the Criminal Law Solicitors' Association and the London Criminal Courts Solicitors' Association welcomed Sir Bill Jeffrey's review of criminal advocacy and said the groups are 'completely committed' to raising solicitors' standards of advocacy.
In contrast they accused the Bar Council of pursuing its 'own narrow self-interested agenda' in its own response to the Jeffrey review.? ?
The solicitors' groups accepted that their members could benefit from greater advocacy training and said they will co-operate with the government, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Law Society to ensure the 'highest possible standards' are achieved.?
They criticised the 'entirely preposterous entirely self-interested hubristic triumphalism' that they accused the Bar Council of showing in its response to the review.?
?The CLSA and LCCSA said the bar's attitude is 'to be regretted' and will be 'short-lived' as the solicitors' profession 'rapidly embraces and adapts to change'.? ?Jeffrey (pictured) highlighted quality concerns among both professions, but said barristers were losing work to less well-trained solicitor-advocates, who kept work within their firms for commercial reasons.? ?
In its response to the review, the Bar Council highlighted, among other things, the following findings:?
Nicholas Lavender QC, chairman of the bar, hit back with a statement that he was 'surprised by some of the language used by the CLSA and LCCSA in their media statement... which can only serve to distract attention from a matter of real public concern'.
He said the bar's concern was that the market 'should work properly with competition based on quality and the best advocates being chosen by clients, with the help of advice from their solicitors. That is in the public interest'.