Kickback Requests

THE Bar Council has received reports that Chambers are being approached by a well established company who introduce clients to solicitors in return for a referral fee (15% of profit costs). The company is now looking to enter in to a similar arrangement with barristers doing public access work.

Barristers are reminded of the provisions of paragraph 307(e) of the Code of Conduct which prohibits a barrister from making any payment( other than a payment for advertising or publicity permitted by the Code or remuneration to staff) to any person for the purpose of procuring instructions. However, it is permissible for the lay client to pay a fee to the a company in order to be introduced to a public access barrister, provided that no money changes hands between the public access barrister and the company for the referral.