It is not just a question of ‘what’s in a name’. There is a real ethical difference between professionals and industrial workers. If society does not recognise this or we, as professionals, do not defend this difference, we are in danger of sliding behind the doors of a Stalinist state.

Joshua Rozenberg’s article pointed out the constitutional error made by Tony Blair in abolishing the proper role of the lord chancellor through the degradation of the nature of the appointment. A Ministry of Justice spokesman was quoted on the Gazette front page as saying: ‘We want to simplify the regulatory framework for the legal services sector and reduce the burdens on the industry.’

Unless we protest individually and collectively, through the Law Society and the Bar Council, the distinction mentioned in my opening paragraph will disappear, and with it such vital matters as confidentiality between solicitor and client, which exists now only by fighting for it when it is attacked.

Michael Loup, Neustadt, Germany