Barristers making payments to secure criminal work

Reports have been received of solicitors requiring payments to be made to them by barristers in return for work to be referred to the barristers in criminal cases.

Barristers are reminded that the making of payments in order to secure instructions is forbidden by paragraph 307 (e) of the Bar Code of Conduct, which states: 307. A barrister must not:
(e)make any payment (other than a payment for advertising or publicity permitted by this Code or in the case of a selfemployed barrister remuneration paid to any clerk or other employee or staff of his chambers) to any person for the purpose of procuring professional instructions; Further, the profession is reminded that a payment agreed by a clerk, on behalf of a barrister for the purpose of procuring professional instructions, would similarly put the barrister in breach of paragraph 307 (e). If you have concerns as to your position under the Code, it is recommended that you telephone the Bar Council’s ethics line. The number is 020 7611 1307.Standards Committee, Bar Standards Board, issued 30 July 2008