The Bar Council has recruited law firms to a panel set up under a new initiative to help barristers recover money they are owed by ‘professional clients’ – mainly solicitors. 

Two debt recovery specialist firms, Thrings and Veale Wasbrough Vizards, have been appointed to the panel, the Bar Council said today. Panel members have a choice of payment options, including 'no-win, no-fee' as well as at fixed up-front rates.

Andrew Langdon QC, chairman of the bar, said the panel will be an essential service for many barristers. ‘As most of us are self-employed, income is essential to our livelihoods. Balanced against that is the need to maintain long-term commercial relationships with our professional clients.

‘The law firms on the panel are adept at handling the sensitivities around debt recovery and are able to handle the recovery of fees owed to barristers delicately.’

The Bar Council closed its former fees collection service in 2015 following the introduction of standard contractual terms in January 2013. The statement said that as the body can no longer assist with unpaid fees, it is providing a panel of solicitors’ firms who provide debt recovery services and come recommended by clients.

‘The panel is not an exclusive list of those offering debt recovery services for the bar and the Bar Council welcomes further recommendations from barristers and chambers for further additions to the panel,’ the statement said.