The Bar is dead, long live the Bar!

“Well, ladies and gentleman,” said SlipperySlope today, “how does it feel to be on the cusp of entering a new era of the alternative business structure?”

“The what?” said UpTights.

“Oh, come on,” said Slippery. “Don’t pretend you haven’t been sitting around worrying about it for the last few months. Word tells me you have a new QC called Slick who’s trying to drag you all into this century.”

“It might help if he first dragged us into the last century,” said TheBusker.

“Come on, wake up and smell the competition. The starting gun has sounded and if you’re not ready you guys will get obliterated! You’re not at all worried about high street brands taking over the legal world? Modern and efficient companies who’ll have no truck whatsoever with antiquated delivery systems such as the Bar?”

“Delivery systems?” said OldSmoothie. “Er, no.”

“How can you be so sure of yourself?” asked Slippery.

“For as long as I’ve known you, my friend, you’ve been predicting the end of the Bar. First it was when they allowed solicitors into court. Hmm, I wonder what happened to that?”

“They couldn’t take the heat,” said TheVamp.

“Then, it was the introduction of Lord Woolf’s brand new shiny Civil Procedure Rules which were all about cutting costs at every stage. Now, tell me, what happened there?”

“Solicitors had their own costs cut while barristers got paid even more to go and argue about the meaning of the rules themselves,” said TheCreep.

“Then there was the cutting of legal aid in favour of no-win, no-fee. Anyone?”

“Again,” said BusyBody, “more work through the door on top of all the extra costs hearings to be had.”

“So you’ll have to forgive me, my very dear Slippery, if you don’t find me exactly quaking in my boots at yet another new change in the rules.”

“The rules of engagement have been changing for centuries,” said HeadofChambers. “But one thing has always remained a constant right back to Cicero and beyond. That there’s always a premium on a silver tongue and a dash of charisma which can help those big commercial interests you talk about get their own way.”

BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister written by Tim Kevan whose new novel is Law and Peace. For more information and to read past posts visit Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

October 6, 2011 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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