NewsBites - February 2012

Barrister complaints

The BSB’s Professional Conduct Department has released its third quarter report. The report covers the period from 1 July to 30 September 2011 and reveals a continuing rise in complaints against barristers by litigants in person. The total for 2011 now stands at 55 (with the fourth quarter figures still to come). This compares with a total of 19 in 2009 and seven in 2010. The report can be found on www.barstandardsboard.org.uk.


Deech Re-Appointed

Baroness Deech has been re-appointed to the role of chair of the BSB for a further three years. Sir Geoffrey Nice QC has been re-appointed vice chair for a further year. The BSB will begin recruiting a new vice chair in the summer. Baroness Deech said: “Our immediate attention will be focused on our new equality and diversity rules, which cover anti-harassment policies, maternity and paternity leave and fair allocation of work, along with the introduction of the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates, a new Code of Conduct and Entity Regulation.”


Family Funds

More than three-quarters of publicly legally aided family law clients would lose public funding under the proposed legal aid cuts, a survey by family lawyers’ association Resolution has shown. Of those who took part, 57 per cent said at least half their cases involved a parent who risked losing contact with their children. 42 per cent of respondents said appropriate legal advice meant that at least half their cases settled without going to court.
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