Fusion of the Legal Profession

Notes on fusing the barrister and solicitors occupations

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  • Created by: Jem
  • Created on: 28-05-12 20:24

Fusion

This used to be a major debate: should the barrister and solicitors profession be merged/fused?

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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.

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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.

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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

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