In Practice: A little good news, and some practical realities

The Law Society Gazette has reported that the number of practising solicitors hit a record high last month. They make the point that this is despite the parlous state of the economy, although cynics may suggest that it is because of the parlous state of the economy. The Gazette does point out, however, that the number of PC-holders may have been artificially inflated by this year’s phased renewals process. Even so, it is interesting to think that the profession may be weathering the economic storm.

Not all within the profession is sweetness and light, however. I discussed the Bar's proposal to seek a greater share of the pie through direct access in my In Practice post last week, and I see that Marilyn Stowe in Solicitors Journal has also raised the issue, with her thoughts also leading to the possibility of fusion. She argues that direct access is pitting solicitors and barristers against each other when instead the two sides of the profession should be working together:
"I believe it would make more sense, for the consumer and us all, if we fused our profession under one name and worked together, rather than competed to do jobs that neither profession is fully equipped or trained to complete."
As I suggested last week: Is it time to re-open the fusion debate?

To finish this short post on a lighter note, direct access was also the subject of a BabyBarista post this week. However, the members of chambers debating the idea soon perceive one of its main drawbacks - that barristers having direct access to clients also entails those clients having direct access to their barristers:
"It’s bad enough having solicitors being able to bother us day in day out,” said HeadofChambers. “But at least they filter out the worst excesses of the lay clients."
Perhaps the enthusiasm for direct access may wane a little when the hideous practical realities hit home...


  1. and a Merry Christmas to you John from all at Divorce-Online.

  2. Hmm, off-topic and with a spam link, but for you Mark I'll let that go, and wish you a happy Winter Solstice!

  3. Thanks John.
    Very best wishes for your Winter Solstice and thanks for all your very kind comments through the year which are much appreciated.

  4. Pleasure, Marilyn, and happy Winter Solstice to you too!


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