Chairmans Message: QASA – 07.10.14
CBA Chairman’s Message:
Tony Cross QC
Tuesday 7 October 2014
E: [email protected]
T: 07860 692693
The Criminal Bar Association is disappointed by the judgment in Lumsdon-v-Legal Services Board.
The CBA supported the Claimants because
- The scheme is a bad one.
- It was believed that the scheme was unlawful and
- The scheme was wholly incomprehensible in relation to its appeals process.
The CBA accept that the Court of Appeal has ruled the scheme to be lawful. We await advice as to any appeal that may be pursued. We note that the Court described the case as “not an ordinary piece of litigation”. We will be consulting our members as to what action should be taken in the light of the decision.
The Court of Appeal did not descend into whether they scheme was a bad one, albeit expressing the view that it was a controversial one and upon which opinions were sharply divided.
The CBA believe that the scheme is a bad one, is disproportionate and one that is a heavy and expensive exercise in over-regulation. The Bar’s regulator, the BSB, took the same view and provided, at a late stage, an alternative and more sensible scheme that was rejected by the LSB.
The CBA’s reservations about the opaque appeals process appear to be well founded. The Court of Appeal has said that they are unclear and it cannot be seen how the BSB will apply them; it is unclear to the judiciary and the profession alike. We await a further consultation.
Finally, we wish to echo the Master of the Rolls about our legal team. Baker & McKenzie and our counsel, led by Dinah Rose and Tom de la Mare, have worked tirelessly on our behalf, and therefore on behalf of the whole Bar for many months. They have done so for free. They are a shining example of the principles of independent and fearless advocacy and we are forever in their debt.
Tony Cross QC