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Monday Message 13.05.13


  • Do Right Fear No One: Chairman’s Comment
  • The CBA Dinner: Surprise Guest Speakers raise the roof
  • Eddie Stobarts and the MOJ run for cover
  • The BSB extends time for Registration and pretends that direct access and alternative business structures will come to the professions aid.
  • Justice Committee refuse to commit as to whether they might investigate the proposed changes.
  •  Lord Neuberger Speaks out: Sort of
  • Late Payment Regulations now in force.
  • MOJ Roadshows expose the lack of thought behind the consultation.
  • Unity within the professions: Justice for Sale: A Sell Out
  • What’s in the Press?


1.         Do Right Fear No One: Chairman’s Comment

Supposedly we live in a democratic society. We look around the rest of the world and feel how lucky we are that we are not in a country where for example the judiciary are under state control. Where the work force is properly unionised and the Government engages in debate with those who have been democratically elected to represent a work force. As you read this Monday message we ask you to bear this in mind .Ask yourselves are we are looking at our so called democracy through rose tinted glasses? We hope that by the end you will be more determined than ever to:

Do Right and Fear No One.


2.         The CBA Dinner: Surprise Guest Speakers raise the roof

The CBA dinner was one of the best attended ever. The night was lit up by two surprise guest speakers – Marylin Vite (a second six month pupil from 25 Bedford Row) and Dan Bunting (a junior barrister of 10 year call from 2 Dr Johnson Buildings). We felt that this was a year where our guests, the judiciary and the Bar could hear at first hand why we need their support whilst a battle rages to preserve the bar, the ultimate independence of the judiciary and the English legal system. Marilyn and Dan told the gathering of the realities of life at the coal face. They were brave, brilliant and inspirational. They rightly received standing ovations. You can see what they said HERE and HERE.

They proved a hard act to follow for your chair. You can see my speech HERE. A huge thanks again to Aaron Dolan for his superb efforts at organising the evening.


3.         Eddie Stobarts and the MOJ run for cover

Early Saturday morning I was on Radio 5 live. Trevor Howarth (legal director of Stobart Law) and a representative of the MOJ had agreed to appear on the programme until they were told I would be appearing too. Both immediately withdrew. The more they run the more we know they can only be afraid of the strength of our arguments. You can catch my comments HERE.

You (and Baroness Deech) might like to note the written statement provided by the MOJ in lieu of an appearance, proves yet again the reliance they place on Quality/QASA.

Karl Turner MP ( Labour Whip ) had requested that Lord McNally meet with myself and Bill Waddington ( Chair of CLSA ) on Monday. Since Bill Waddington and myself have attended many meetings with interested parties together this appeared more than sensible. The office of the MOJ again said I was not welcome………We are urged to engage with the consultation and the MOJ but this is the reality.

 Mr Grayling was indeed put on the spot in the House of Commons last week. His answer tells you all you need to know, HERE.


3.         Sadiq Khan MP comes out fighting

Last week, in an admirable declaration in the Law Society Gazette, Sadiq Khan declared the Labour parties abhorrence for Mr Grayling’s plans to wreck our legal profession. Very sensibly he also recognised that the only way to construct a legal aid system that would produce real value for money, as well as providing a quality service, is to work with the professions. In stark contrast to Mr Grayling and Lord McNally, Saqiq Khan is prepared to meet and consider seriously the views of the Chairman of the Criminal Bar. You can read him HERE.

4.        The BSB extends time for Registration and pretends that direct access and alternative business structures will come to the aid of the profession.

The Bar Standards Board have now extended the closing date for the first period of registration for QASA until March 2014 HERE:


I wonder why- since they have been asked to do just that in the past and refused.  The next item of note is that they are still singing the praises of Direct Access and the Alternative Business Structure. If they are serious about either of these models the first thing they might like to do what a regulator should do and examine Eddie Stobart Law. They are not registered in any way as a provider of legal services. If, as we believe, all they are doing is pimping off the profession by inserting themselves between the public and the direct access barrister, so that they can charge a fee for directing the public to a member of the bar they can access for free on the Bar Council website, should our regulator not be doing something about it? I have emailed Baroness Deech requesting her to investigate this. We will of course let you know her response. Equally, the BSB might like to explain to the criminal bar how they are meant to work these contracts which are worth no more than £1.6 million on a single or multiple basis with any hope of survival.


5.         Justice Committee refuse to commit as to whether they might investigate this madness

A number of you have helpfully written to Sir Alan Beeth, raising the same point. Below is the standard reply received by one of our members, Timothy Thomas. Despite the fact that these proposals threaten the independence of the judiciary and have the potential to destroy our entire legal system, Sir Alan wants to wait and see. History has proved that policy to be a bad one. We would urge him to review this and to take evidence on the topic as soon as possible.


Subject: Justice Select Committee: Transforming legal aid: delivering a more credible and efficient system

Date: Fri, 10 May 2013 12:38:05 +0000


Justice Committee

House of Commons London SW1P 3JA

Tel 020 7219 8196/8198 Fax 020 7219 0843

Email: [email protected]


Thank you for your e-mail, which I have made available to the members of the Justice Committee.

The Committee has received a substantial number of representations about the proposals contained in the Government’s consultation paper, particularly those relating to price competitive tendering.  The Committee is therefore aware of the nature and scale of concerns evoked by these proposals. However the Committee intends to allow the Government’s consultation to run its course and does not therefore intend to take evidence on the subject while the consultation is under way. Should the Committee decide to inquire into the subject and/or take evidence on it after the Government’s consultation has closed it will of course announce the fact publicly.




Justice Committee


6.         Neuberger Speaks out: Sort of

Lord Justice Neuberger head of the Supreme Court voiced his concerns last week HERE.


Such comment is of course welcome but you really have to wonder why our judiciary are so passive in their comments when the very cornerstone of our democracy is threatened, which is the independence of the judiciary. History teaches us that the first step on the road to the picking apart a democracy is the destruction of the independent judiciary.


7.         Late Payment Regulations now in force.

The European Late Payment Regulations came into force in March this year. We are now entitled to payment within 30 days and to charge interest at 8% over base for late receipt.



Might we suggest that for here on in you mark your bills accordingly? Let us see if the LAA (the old LSC) are geared up to that.     

8.          MOJ Roadshows expose the lack of thought behind the consultation.

Joshua Rosenberg in a very good diary piece exposed the MOJ’s inability to answer any rigorous questions about their consultation HERE.


Nothing more could underline the reasons why the MOJ refuses to come face to face with your Chairman. CBA members have done a brilliant job in attending these road shows. To book your place for the next one HERE.


9.         Unity within the professions: Justice for Sale: A Sell Out

The Justice for Sale meeting on May 22nd is a sell out. This is an opportunity not to be missed.


10.       What’s in the Press?

Marco Gianelli and Ted Jeory

The Express

Interpreters ‘low pay’ halts a trial


Nina Power

The Guardian

Privatised Justice is No Justice at all


Leading academics warn legal aid cuts ‘could have devastating effects’


David Harounhoff in the Tribune



Do Right Fear No One

Michael Turner QC


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