This used to be a major debate: should the barrister and solicitors profession be merged/fused?
The Advantages of Fusion
· Reduced costs: only one lawyer would be needed instead of a barrister and a solicitor.
· Less duplication: Just one person is doing the work instead of the solicitor preparing the case than passing to a barrister.
· More continuity: The same person is handling the case from start to finish.
The Disadvantages of Fusion
· A decrease in the specialist skills of advocacy
· Loss of the independent Bar and a lack of availability of advice from independent specialist at the Bar.
· Less objectivity in consideration of a case: barristers provide a second opinion
· The loss of the cab-rank principle: the principle which allows anyone to get representation even if their case is unpopular or unlikely to win.
The Invalidity of Fusion
· The argument for fusion is no longer important. Since the implementation of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 and Access to Justice Act 1999 barristers and solicitors can take a case from start to finish.
· Under the Access to Justice Act 1999 barristers have the ability to do litigation and the preliminary work in starting a case which previously was done solely by Solicitors. Plus Solicitors can represent a client in all courts; they have wider rights of advocacy.
· Legal Services Act 2007 allows barristers and solicitors to work in the same legal business.
· There is no need for fusion