Jackson 'will fuel conflicts'

Fri, 30 Nov 2012

Experts at the Bar Conference last week have warned that the Jackson reforms will increase potential conflicts of interest where barristers are dealing directly with the public. 
Direct access allows clients to approach a barrister without a solicitor, which means that clients rely on the barrister to give advice on the best funding option, even though this may not be the most profitable for the barrister. 
Kevin Leigh, of No5 Chambers and vice-chair of Bar Council’s access to the bar committee, said the conflict over funding advice was ‘the elephant in the room’.
'Without a solicitor, you are supposed to [give] exactly the same sort of advice as a solicitor would give. I may have to say [to a client], you need to get this checked. But people are becoming desperate. They can’t afford a solicitor. There is pressure on them. The reality is they will take anything they can get so that they can litigate their problem.
‘It’s nice to think that the bar is honourable, but sometimes there is even a pressure [on barristers], to do things which are against their better judgement, because you think - where does the client go from here?
‘In the real world, there is a tension between [the client’s interests and thinking] how am I going to get paid? Someone needs to think that through. The Jackson reforms do not deal with that problem.’

Related articles

Personal Injury analysis: This analysis considers Master Cook’s judgment in RXK in which he sets out the circumstances in which the court will order an interim payment despite final quantification still being some years hence. It explains why this will be welcome news for claimant solicitors, even though no substantive decision was given in the case....

Date: Wed, 04 Dec 2019
No5 Barristers’ Chambers joined forces with Moore Blatch Solicitors to host an “inspiring evening” to mark the centenary of women in law....

Date: Thu, 28 Nov 2019
In her article published today in the New Law Journal, “Duty of care: Inadequate safety nets?"...

Date: Fri, 19 Jul 2019