- In Practice
- In Business
- Moving On
Bar victory over ‘cab rank’ rule
Thursday 02 August 2012 by Catherine Baksi
Changes to the ‘cab rank’ rule approved last week will pave the way for new standard contractual terms between solicitors and barristers.
Under amendments to the Bar Standards Board’s code of conduct approved by the Legal Services Board, the cab rank rule will apply where work is offered to a barrister on the new contractual terms or any standard terms offered by the barrister. The cab rank rule will not apply to work offered by firms named on the List of Defaulting Solicitors, where a solicitor has not paid a barrister’s fees.
Increasingly barristers are seeking to agree contractual terms with solicitors and mitigate the risk of non-payment. Under the current code they are not obliged to accept instructions on negotiated contractual terms. The BSB says this undermines the cab rank rule. In October 2011 it applied to the Legal Services Board to change the rules, but in January the LSB issued a notice warning that it was considering refusing the application.
Following the notice, the Law Society raised concerns that the new contractual terms were biased in favour of barristers.
Granting the BSB’s application last week, LSB chief executive Chris Kenny said he did not consider the BSB’s solution to the issue to be ‘the most appropriate’ but that there is ‘no reason’ to refuse it.
He added: ‘In making this decision, the LSB has formed no view on the appropriateness of the cab rank rule.’
A BSB spokesman said the regulator looks forward to liaising with the Bar Council to implement and publicise the change, and will provide details of the process after the summer break. The decision will pave the way for the introduction of new standard contractual terms, which the BSB expects many barristers to adopt.
- Pilot aims to limit clinical negligence solicitors’ fees
- Will-writing could still be regulated
- Court interpreters reject new contract deal
- North-west PI paralegal initiative
- Grayling asks for quality standard for PCT firms
- In-house growth accelerating
- Appeal Court applies Russian law in dispute
- Insurers to revamp third-party code
- European data plan labelled ‘demented’
- Saudi Arabia accepts registration of female lawyer
- Don’t worry about Jackson fallout – judge
- French revolution
- Criminal legal aid cuts to reach £370m
- SRA’s popularity slips
- Traffic courts to be set up
- Economy 'testing access to justice'
- MoJ plans crackdown on ‘so-called’ experts
- Midlands ABS issues ‘join us’ offer to insurers
- Law Society Excellence Awards now open for nomination
- Desperate PI firms breaking referral fee ban – AXA chief
- Jurors ‘confused’ on new media contempt
- End-to-end negligence defence practice sets up as ABS
- Grayling says no to regulating will-writing
- Society and bar join hands against criminal justice plans
- 100 jobs at risk as BLP seeks 15% salary cost cut
- Bar Council picks a former mandarin