Anyone who has worked with the feisty ladies at Harney and Wells, family law solicitors in Brighton, knows that they fight all the way for their clients. So, as solicitor advocates they weren’t going to take a diss lying down:
A SOLICITOR ADVOCATE – SERIOUSLY?!
I read the Chairman of the Bar Counsel’s letter of the 16th July to the Parliamentary Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Justice with dismay. It is a poor example of advocacy in itself on behalf of the bar, as it gives the strong impression that the bar is motivated by protectionism and not the high standards of the professionalism that the public is entitled to expect from both solicitors and barristers. I have practised in the Courts almost every day for many years. In my view there is always room for advocacy standards to be improved by solicitors and barristers. Solicitors are not forcing their advocacy skills (or lack of them) on unwilling clients to obtain the FAS payment. Nine months on the Bar Vocational Course does not make a good advocate. It is experience and aptitude that do. It is most regrettable that the Chairman of the Bar Counsel should give the impression that a solicitor advocate is a poor substitute for a barrister.
Alison Harbour , Solicitor Advocate
Law Society President, Jonathan Smithers, wrote to Shailesh Vara, justice minister, to respond to some issues raised by the Bar Council & FLBA with regard to the quality of advocacy by solicitors. You can see his response here http://lawsociety.org.uk/news/stories/law-society-responds-to-criticism-of-family-advocacy/