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"Christina Blacklaws, president, said: 'What we can be clear about is that solicitors must not discriminate unlawfully against anyone on the grounds of any protected characteristic.'"

Yes, but it wasn't the solicitor who was discriminating, it was the client. For all we know, the call which the solicitor then made to Ms Popal was an extremely apologetic one. Why else would the solicitor reveal the client's reason during that conversation? Solicitors don't have to give barristers reasons for withdrawing instructions from them; and it seems highly unlikely that the solicitor gave the reason in order to annoy or upset Ms Popal.

It has been reported elsewhere that the client wanted to change barristers because he felt that a judge would be more likely to listen to a white, male barrister. Like it or not, that is a credible explanation for the client's views. Who can blame a client for holding such a view, when the chances are that the judge is going to be a white male? Rather than leaping to the conclusion that solicitors are callous racists, why don't the Bar and the Bench consider the possibility that the blame for this situation lies with the Bench and the impression which the judiciary projects?

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