England: Senior barrister makes case for fused profession

Bob Neill
Bob Neill

A senior barrister MP and head of Westminster’s Justice Committee has written that lawyers in England should prepare for a fused profession.

In an interview for Legal Hackette’s Brief, Bob Neill noted that fusion worked well in other common law jurisdictions.

“People always think of it in terms of America, which I don’t think is a good example. They should look at those Commonwealth countries that have adopted a fused model,” he said.

He added that a fused profession might offer junior barristers greater security before developing a specialism.

From a client’s perspective, he said that “Your brief is your brief and it doesn’t matter if it’s a solicitor or barrister” and added that it may be sensible to introduce any such changes incrementally.

Legislation over the years has blurred the lines between the branches of the profession but the Bar Council remains opposed to fusion.

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