Practice and Procedure

QASA and Bribery Act issues

PUBLISHED February 24, 2012

The final proposals for QASA are beginning to take shape but the LCCSA has written to its members today to make them aware of two issues.

Bar Standards Board Survey

The BSB has commissioned ORC International to undertake research which will involve them asking solicitors and other practitioners to participate in either an online or telephone questionnaire purportedly designed to gather information on perceptions of the standards of advocacy in the criminal courts.   

QASA is meant to be a joint project between the various regulators, but the SRA and other stakeholders have not been consulted on this survey, which appears to be a unilateral initiative of the BSB.  

Due to recent unfortunate public utterances emanating from the BSB and a clear perception of their pre-judgment, the LCCSA recommends that its members do not take part this survey. 

The SRA will shortly be launching its own round of consultation on proposals for the design of the QASA Scheme, and the LCCSA shares the view of other practitioner organisations such as SAHCA and the CLSA that the SRA's consultation is where all solicitors should be focusing their attention. 

Offers to share fees

The LCCSA is being made aware that members of the Bar are increasingly offering a share of their fee in return for the brief.  This is in direct contravention of the rules and the Standard Crime Contract.  If such an approach is made to any LCCSA member they are being urged to report this to Jim Meyer (or any other member of the LCCSA committee), in complete confidence.