Practice Management

3rd Bar Council Visit to India Strengthens Links between Indian and English Profession

<p>A large delegation of 20 barristers and chambers’ staff visited Mumbai and Kolkata between 22 and 27 November. This visit took place in the context of the International Committee’s strategic plan objective to raise the profile of the Bar in India over the period 2008- 2010. It built on visits in 2005 and 2007 and a visit by the Bombay Bar Association to London and Manchester in 2008. </p> <p>The visit had three objectives: </p> <p>1) Strengthening ties with the Indian legal profession (both in private practice and in-house) at the trade level<br />2) Giving practitioner members and practice managers an opportunity to promote their own practice vis-a-vis Indian law firms and in-house counsel.<br />3) Strengthening ties with the Indian legal profession at the values level </p> <p>The second objective was a new one. Previously the aim on the business development side had been limited to raising the profile of the Bar in general and to explain to lawyers and in-house counsel the advantages of working with barrister in relation to English and international law matters. </p> <p>A number of events were held in pursuit of the first two objectives as well as the objective to allow practitioners to promote their own practice. Just before the delegation began its official programme in Mumbai, the Chairman also visited Delhi for meetings with the Law<br />Minister and the Corporate Affairs Minister in pursuit of all three objectives. Both Ministers were supportive in every respect and<br />particularly keen for the Bar to continue advocacy training programmes in India. </p> <p>In respect of the latter, two advocacy training programmes were delivered by three trainers from the Advocacy Training Council (ATC)<br />in Mumbai and Kolkata, a similar initiative as was conducted during the 2005 mission. The objective here was to demonstrate the excellence of the English Bar in IDR as well as generating goodwill by providing free training to young Indian advocates and encouraging<br />the senior bar to contemplate becoming advocacy trainers through future ATC training events. Around 40 young advocates benefited from the training in each city. </p> <p>In respect of business development and raising the profile of the Bar’s legal expertise three seminars were held for in-house counsel and senior managers of major Indian corporates in both cities. The seminars consisted of an introduction to the Bar and its international legal services, followed by three presentations on international litigation, international arbitration and international mediation. This was followed by a networking opportunity. </p> <p>In addition two seminars were held with bar associations in Mumbai and Kolkata to strengthen links with the local profession. Finally, two well-attended receptions were held for legal VIPs in each city. </p> <p>The visit, supported by UKTI, was successful in raising the profile of the Bar and delegation members were able to make many useful<br />business contacts. In both Mumbai and Kolkata, further opportunities in developing international arbitration and mediation activities have appeared. The great interest in the ATC programme is also generate further requests for advocacy training events in both cities. The International Committee will evaluate the success of the mission in greater detail and plans for future India-related activities will be announced in the New Year. </p> <p>  </p>
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BSB approves fundamental changes

<p>The Bar Standards Board has paved the way for fundamental changes in barristers’ working practices by giving approval for barristers to supply legal services through the legal structures known as Legal Disciplinary Practices (LDPs). The BSB has taken significant decisions in order to open up the legal services market so that consumers have access to even better value, quality, legal services in fulfilment of the Regulatory of the Legal Services Act 2007. </p> <p>The BSB formed an Alternative Business Structures Working Group in 2007 to consider how barristers might become involved in LDPs and ABSs. The work of that group has been thorough and detailed, including three consultations on various aspects of the possible impacts of the Legal Services Act. The reports of the Group were considered by the Board at its meeting on Thursday 17 November and the Board accepted the following recommendations: </p>
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Bar ‘setting the pace’ on social mobility - new report

<p>THE Bar Council, in conjunction with the Inns of Court, has launched No bar to the Bar, a review of the diverse measures adopted by the profession to help all those of ability to have access to a career as a barrister, regardless of their background. 'No bar to the Bar' takes stock of the Bar’s continuing work in this area, and gives a snapshot of just some of the talented applicants who have achieved real success at the Bar and within the judiciary. </p>
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VAT change

From 1 January 2010 the standard rate of value added tax  will be increased from 15 per cent to 17.5 per cent. The Bar Council has published a guide setting out the key points of law which barristers and their clerks will need to be aware of in order to implement the change. It is available at <a href="http://www.barcouncil.org.uk">www.barcouncil.org.uk</a>.
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Bar Council welcomes BSB’s decisions on new practice structures

<p>THE Bar Council has welcomed the decisions taken by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) which will permit members of the Bar to supply legal services within new business structures. The BSB has approved the creation of Legal Disciplinary Practices (LDPs) and Barrister only Partnerships (BoPs). Any wider decision to permit barristers to work in Alternative Business Structures (ABSs) will be deferred until the effects of the transitional LDP regime can be assessed and following further consultation in 2010.  The BSB’s decisions follow more than two years of careful deliberation by the Board and its Alternative Business Structures Working Group. </p>
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What Lies Ahead?

<p>Desmond Browne QC sums up the current position and highlights the issues to be addressed in the near future </p> <p>The time is now come for my final Chairman’ s Column . In Chancery Lane people stop to ask me whether there is light at the end of the tunnel. I can only reply that with so little light, there still seems an awful lot of tunnel. </p>
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Iain Milligan QC and Brian Lee

<p>Names: Iain Milligan QC and Brian Lee <br />Positions: Head of Chambers and Senior Clerk <br />Chambers: 20 Essex Street </p>
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Bar faces fundamental change in provision of legal services

<p>Barristers have been given the go-ahead to supply legal services within new business structures. On 20 November the Bar Standards Board (“BSB” ) approved the creation of legal disciplinary practices (“LDP”) and, in principle, barrister-only partnerships (“BoP”). Barristers will be free to become managers of LDPs, regulated by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority, without having to requalify as solicitors. The decision applies only in principle to LDPs which include up to 25 per cent non-lawyer managers. </p>
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Future for LDPs still on hold

<p>Barristers will find out in November if they can become managers or shareholders of Legal Disciplinary Practices (“LDPs”).<br />By then, the Bar Standards Board (“BSB”) will have analysed further research it commissioned into the regulatory implications of the new structures, which are being introduced under the Legal Services Act 2007. </p>
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Gerard Hickie

<p>Name: Gerard Hickie<br />Position: Chief Executive<br />Chambers: Littleton Chambers </p>
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