Bar Council publishes Annual Report

THE Bar Council has published its Annual Report and Accounts, setting out its achievements and financial data for 2008. The Report highlights the Bar Council’s activities over the past year in many areas including:

  • Publicly-funded work, particularly in relation to Very High Cost Cases and family fees
  • Developments in the regulation of the legal profession and possible alternative business structures for the Bar
  • Communication with members of the Bar and the work of the new Member Services department
  • The international work of the Bar and the opening of a new Bar Council office in Brussels
  • Efforts to increase social mobility and diversity within the profession
  • The Bar’s role in providing access to justice when Legal Aid is threatened with further cuts

    Commenting on the Report, Desmond Browne QC, the Chairman of the Bar, said:

    “There has never been a more challenging time for the Bar and its members. The economic downturn is having a direct effect on public expenditure which will continue to place the publicly-funded Bar under increasing strain. Added to the economic pressures are potentially far-reaching regulatory changes which will affect the ways in which barristers practise their profession. Our latest Annual Report describes how the Bar has been addressing these challenges over the past year and what we are doing to promote the specialist advisory and advocacy services of barristers, in the public interest. I hope this report will provide the Bar, and others who take an interest in our work, with an insight into the enormously varied work of the Bar Council on behalf of the profession and the public. Our activity is sustained by the commitment of practitioners, selfemployed as well as employed.. They are motivated by the essential role of the Bar in providing access to justice for all. It is valuable work and this report explains why it deserves to be valued.”

    Andrew Mitchell QC, Treasurer of the Bar Council, said:

    “This year’s Accounts show that, with prudent financial management, the Bar Council has continued to control its costs at a difficult time for the profession. We shall continue to pursue value for money in all that we do.”

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