Solicitors Now Required To Justify Reasons For Recommending A Particular Advocate

In its response to a government consultation on criminal advocacy, the Bar council has suggested that solicitors should be required to explain the reason for recommending a particular advocate.

The Bar council has further suggested that the solicitor should sign a declaration stating that the client has been completely informed about the choice of advocate. The declaration would be effective in controlling malpractice because it would have contractual and professional implications if solicitors were found to have lied on a signed declaration.

In its Preserving and Enhancing the Quality of Criminal Advocacy consultation paper, the Ministry of Justice proposed a statutory ban on referral fees and is also seeking views on how to better identify and prevent disguised referral fees.

According to Curry Popeck solicitors and mediators, there have been concerns in the legal profession that the practice of taking referral fees is being abused by firms who refer clients to advocates with whom they have a financial relationship, potentially depriving clients of the choice of a more suitable advocate.

Although there is already a regulatory ban on referral fees, the bar council has strongly emphasized the need for a ‘statutory ban’, in order to promote clarity and consistency as to exactly what type of behavior is banned.

Curry Popeck welcomes the proposals by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) saying these will preserve and enhance the quality of criminal advocacy.

Curry Popeck’s dedicated team of law experts is able to provide friendly, practical and personal advice to clients in a very efficient, cost effective and timely manner.

With Curry Popeck, solicitors and mediators, clients always come first. We will always provide clients with clear and practical legal advice that safeguards their interests and will help them represent their case in the best possible way. Our team of highly experienced solicitors, led by Philip Popeck and Lionel Curry, are renowned for their impeccable legal advice and will take clients through the complex legal procedures as smoothly and stress-free as possible.

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