Kickbacks? Good grief!….

It would appear that people have been lurking around on dark drizzly days in The Temple…. offering barristers work in return for kickbacks.

The Bar Council announced today on their website:

Kickbacks” The Bar Council has received reports that Chambers are being approached by a well established company who introduce clients to solicitors in return for a referral fee (15% of profit costs). The company is now looking to enter in to a similar arrangement with barristers doing public access work. Barristers are reminded of the provisions of paragraph 307(e) of the Code of Conduct which prohibits a barrister from making any payment( other than a payment for advertising or publicity permitted by the Code or remuneration to staff) to any person for the purpose of procuring instructions. However, it is permissible for the lay client to pay a fee to a company in order to be introduced to a public access barrister, provided that no money changes hands between the public access barrister and the company for the referral.”

Well… there we are… another possible lost opportunity to compete for the Bar? Or… am I just being tendentious?

3 thoughts on “Kickbacks? Good grief!….

  1. Since the Bar is trying to boost (or at least claims to) direct access to barristers by clients, this rule will at some point have to alter. This appears to hew to the idea that barristers are still paid by honorarium, but they are becoming business people just as much as solicitors are. Interestingly, payments to the barrister’s clerk don’t fall under this, so there wouldn’t be anything to prevent payments of referral fees via this indirect route. For the Bar it’s hard to let go of old ways.

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