10 of the things the Bar Council did in April

1 May 2017

Andrew Langdon QC, Chairman of the Bar, met with those at HMCTS charged with the responsibility of organising the proposed Flexible Operating Hours pilots and drew attention to the Bar's concerns, emphasising the need for an evaluation criteria that would map and measure the impact on those with caring responsibilities and diversity within the profession.

Applications opened for the  Law Reform Essay Competition 2017. The competition is aimed at developing and fostering an interest in law reform among pupils, law students, CPE/GDL students, BPTC students and those aiming for a career at the Bar. The competition is generously sponsored by the Bar Council Scholarship Trust and offers prizes totalling £10,000 for winners and runners up.

BARCO, the Bar Council's escrow account, saw an increase in popularity in April 2017. BARCO was used in 168 cases in April, compared to 29 cases in April 2016.

The Bar Council's Direct Access Portal, the free-to-use online directory of Direct Access barristers, saw a sudden increase in users. Members of the public searched for a barrister on the portal 45,000 times already in the first quarter of 2017. This is compared to 65,000 searches for the whole of 2016.

There were 51 entries to the inaugural Bar Council Employed Bar Awards. Tickets to the awards dinner on 30 June (to be held in the Tower of London) are now on sale and the shortlist is due to be announced. 

The Bar Council exhibited and spoke at the Northern Business Expo in Manchester. Several thousand small business owners attended the event where the Bar Council promoted the Direct Access Portal and highlighted how the direct access Bar, and wider profession can provide legal support to the business community.

The Bar Council confirmed the date and secured speakers for the 32nd Annual Bar & Young Bar Conference for the 4 November 2017.

April saw the Bar Council respond to  five major consultations, including on the Great Repeal Bill White Paper, Fixed Recoverable Costs and Anti-money laundering.

Chairman of the Bar, Andrew Langdon QC, wrote in Counsel magazine that owing to the decline in court reporters, justice operates essentially unseen and unheard by the public. The recent attacks on judges illustrates the need to inform the public of how law works in practice.

The Bar Council's IT Panel published an  important article for barristers on what to do if they lose important papers or end up compromising a client's rights to secure data.