ABS Delayed

The licensing of alternative business structures (ABS) for lawyers, which allows non-lawyers to own and invest in law firms, has been delayed. It had been due to take place on 6 October but is now not expected to take place until next year.

Referral fees are ‘bribes’

The Bar Council is considering amendments to the Legal Aid Bill to prohibit referral fees, which it will promote when the Bill reaches its Lords stages. In an update to barristers, Peter Lodder QC branded the fees “bribes” and criticised the Legal Services Board for its decision not to introduce a ban. The Bar Council has instructed leading counsel to advise on whether referral fees contravene the Bribery Act 2010.