Bar Council Minutes 26 July 2013

Minutes of the Bar Council meeting held on Saturday 26 July 2014 at the Bar Council offices


Nicholas Lavender QC - Chairman
Stephen Collier - Treasurer
Alistair MacDonald QC - Chairman-Elect
Rt Hon Jeremy Wright QC - MP Attorney General

58 further members of Bar Council attended.

1. Apologies

Apologies for abse were received from Mr Robert Buckland QC MP, Alison Saunders CB, Robin Allen QC, Phillip Blatchly, Michael Bowsher QC, Kerry Bretherton, Alex Carlile QC, Elisabeth Cooper, Tony Cross QC, Gemma de Cordova, Tim Devlin, Malcolm Dodds, Jonathon Egerton-Peters, Tim Fancourt QC, Amanda-Jane Field, Sarah Forshaw QC, Manjit Gill, Suzanne Goddard QC, Martin Griffiths QC, Susan Grocott QC, Edward Henry, Adam Hiddleston, Gregory Jones QC, Jennifer Josephs, James Kitching, Ian Lawrie QC, Alexander Learmonth, Natalia Levine, Jolyon Maugham, Eleanor Mawrey, Gerard McDermott QC, Neil Mercer, Gregory Mitchell QC, Sarah Morgan, Benjamin Myers QC, Andrew O'Byrne, Lucinda Orr, Geoff Payne, Simon Picken QC, Roger Quickfall, Muhammad Saley, Zoe Saunders, Joe Smouha QC, Jason Sugarman, Helen Tung and Toby Watkin.

The following did not attend and did not send apologies: Alexandria Carr, Malcolm Frost, James George, Max Hardy, Nigel Lithman QC, Dawn Pritchard, Hefin Rees QC, Mark Thomas, Sundeep Virk and Nicholas Worsley.

The following attended as guests: Vanessa Davies (items 1-7), Baroness Ruth Deech QC (Hon) (items 1-7); James Wakefield (throughout).

2. Approval of the minutes and matters arising

The minutes of the last meeting were approved. There were no matters arising.

3. Statement by the Chairman

The Chairman thanked the Western Circuit for their hospitality the previous evening at their Grand Night. It was a marvellous occasion, at which farewells were said to a number of retired judges and members of the Circuit who had passed away, and a number of new members were welcomed to the Circuit. The Chairman said that this demonstrated that the Bar is so much more than a profession, it is a community.

The Grand Night was held in the Great Hall of Winchester Castle, built during the reign of Henry III. It is from that reign that we have the first references to the office of Attorney General.

In July 1962 the then Lord Chancellor was Viscount Kilmuir, who was a Conservative and the principal draftsman of the European Convention on Human Rights. He was sacked by Harold Macmillan during what became known as "the Night of the Long Knives". Liberal MP Jeremy Thorpe commented at the time: "Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his friends for his life."

The Chairman said that Dominic Grieve QC MP and Oliver Heald QC MP will be greatly missed. They were supporters of the profession who attended Bar Council meetings, took part in debates and did a great deal behind the scenes for which the Bar should be very grateful. However, as one door closes, another one opens and the Chairman welcomed the new Attorney General, Jeremy Wright QC MP, and Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP, whom he looked forward to working with.

The Chairman did not repeat what he had said in his written statement, but wished to touch on the issue of the Jeffrey Review and Legal Aid reform. There has been a distinct change in atmosphere in recent meetings with the Government. The negotiations have bought time in order to try and do something sensible and forward-looking in relation to criminal legal aid reform and it is important to make the most of that time and do something constructive.

The Chairman also wished to thank the outgoing Chairman of the Chancery Bar Association, Tim Fancourt QC (TFQC), whom the Chairman remembers well from when he first joined the Bar Council and made his first speech. As he stood to speak, many recognised that he would go on to be a star of the profession. This has proved to be an accurate prediction. The Chairman was particularly impressed by TFQC's show of solidarity for the whole Bar, as demonstrated at the 'One Bar, One Voice' event on 8 February 2014.

The Chairman also wished to thank Nigel Lithman QC (NLQC), outgoing Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association, who has been fantastic and done a wonderful job in very difficult circumstances.

The Chairman reported that Glenn Carrasco (GC), an elected member in the self-employed (over seven years' call) category, has stepped down from the Bar Council as he has left self-employed practice. The Chairman asked for the Bar Council's approval to appoint John Townsend in GC's place, having come third in the election to fill two casual vacancies in late 2013. This was approved.

The Chairman congratulated Richard Atkins QC (RAQC) on his appointment as Leader of the Midland Circuit.

4. Chief Executive's report

The Chief Executive referred to the documents at annexes 3a and 3b, relating to the amendment of the Bar Council's Standing Orders (SOs). The proposed amendments are not designed to be substantive, simply to reflect current circumstances and practices. The only exception are the changes to the General Management Committee (GMC), which reflect recommendations the Chief Executive made to the Officers and GMC following a review of the committee's membership and terms of reference and which have been approved by them. All of the changes which impact on committees were either put forward or approved by them and the BSB has also indicated its contentment with the parts relevant to them.

Baroness Deech QC (Hon) (RDQC) commented that the amendment in the SOs which relates to the Bar Council publishing advice or guidance (Part One, paragraph 9e) is accurate ("The Bar Council [… ] shall not publish any advice or guidance on regulatory matters except in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding on Published Guidance, agreed by the General Management Committee and the Bar Standards Board, and any revision or replacement of that Memorandum that may similarly be agreed from time to time"), but that the cover paper (annex 3a) suggests something slightly different. RDQC wished to stress that the true position is that which appears in the SOs, not the explanatory paper.

The Chief Executive asked for approval for the amendments. Approval was given. The Chief Executive thanked Charlotte Hudson for the work undertaken to facilitate these changes.

The Chief Executive provided an update on the recent review of the Representation and Policy Directorate of the Bar Council, which follows a period of consultation with staff, Committee Chairmen and the Officers. From 1 September, R&P will be renamed 'Representation, Policy and Services Group' in order to recognise the significant services which the organisation offers. The staff structure is being amended, but the changes are broadly neutral in terms of headcount and budget. There have been no compulsory redundancies.

The new structure is designed to align more closely with the strategic plan and to enable the organisation to respond more flexibly to policy issues. It will allow the development and delivery of services to members more efficiently and effectively. Importantly, it will provide greater opportunities for the development and progress of the staff.

Details are currently being finalised and there will be a more detailed announcement in the future.

Andrew Walker QC (AWQC) asked if the Chief Executive could give an indication as to when Committee Chairmen might find out which members of staff will be supporting their committees. The Chief Executive said that he is working with staff to finalise ideas about the best way to deploy resources, so that information was not ready yet. However, it would certainly be before 1 September, when the new structure 'goes live'.

5. Treasurer's report

The Treasurer explained that Bar Council members had been provided with the final draft of the accounts for 2013-14 (annex 4) with a view to final, formal approval being given. The accounts have already been through Finance Committee and Audit Committee for scrutiny. David Botha, Director of Finance, was also present at the meeting to answer any questions which members might have.

The Treasurer explained that the final financial position for 2013-14 was much as had been anticipated back in June when he last addressed Bar Council. The organisation had had a better twelve months than had been budgeted for and a modest surplus has been placed in the reserves. Last year, there was a £2.3m deficit, largely owing to pensions issues.

It is important to remember the context of anticipated changes in the future landscape which will impact on the Bar Council's finances. These include the continuing reduction to the Inns' subvention, the declining size of the practising Bar (and the subsequent impact on the practising certificate fee and Bar Representation Fee) and the BSB's income in the future.

The Treasurer presented a number of slides, which he said would be circulated after the meeting.

In overall terms, the organisation's income in 2013-14 amounted to £14.73m and expenditure to £14.67m. Income was up 11% on the previous year, largely owing to the step-up in the PCF. Costs were down by 5%. Pensions are shown separately (as required under the accounting rules).

There are a number of trends to consider. The practising certificate fee represented 64% of income in 2013-14, against 55% in 2012-13. The organisation is therefore more reliant on the PCF than it previously was. The BSB's expenditure rose by just over 25%, although the Treasurer was at pains to emphasise that this increase was planned and approved. The Inns' subvention will continue to reduce until there is no further financial support from the Inns.

John Elvidge QC (JEQC) asked what the subsidised operations were, as referred to in the accounts. The Treasurer explained that this refers to BARCO and the Scholarship Trust.

Alison Padfield (AP) asked about the 25% increase in planned BSB expenditure; will the spend now drop to its pre-increase rate, or become steady at this higher rate? The Treasurer explained that the two-year increase had been anticipated and approved well in advance and part of that spend was a share in the organisation's investment in its central infrastructure. There is nothing in the numbers to worry about. The BSB spend would continue at, or just below, the higher rate.

The Treasurer was asked about the increase in staffing costs, which is in part attributable to a higher headcount. What is the reason for that? Does it relate to the restructure to which the Chief Executive referred earlier? The Treasurer explained that these accounts refer to the financial year ending 31 March 2014. The Chief Executive's restructure is currently cost neutral but should produce efficiencies in the long-term, but this will not be seen until next year's accounts at the earliest. The increase in the last financial year was due to a planned increase in BSB staff.

Alistair MacDonald QC (AMQC) asked to what extent the decrease in expenditure relates to the organisation reducing its office space. The Treasurer explained that the benefits of the reduction in space will only come through in the next year (14-15) and will be reported in March 2015. However, the cost (c. £1.5m) of reducing the space is reflected in this year's accounts.

AWQC noted that the actual return on assets relating to pension investments was worse than expected. Is that due to the investment policy of the trustees? The Treasurer replied that the relationship with the trustees is excellent and working constructively. The issue here was about sitting on cash instead of assets.

The Treasurer said that he had a few words of thanks to add to his introduction to the accounts, but otherwise the draft would be unchanged. He asked for Bar Council approval on this basis. Approval was given.

The Treasurer moved on to put the current financial performance into perspective. Over the last year, the organisation has achieved real benefits and there will be more to come in the next year. Savings will start to flow and there will be a better focus on the commercial approach taken to providing services. The organisation now has the right people in the right roles who are doing the right things.

However, there will be challenges in the future. These include the potential for a drop in practitioner numbers, the likely increase in inflation and the £350,000 drop in the subvention per annum over each of the next two years. The Bar Council needs to ask serious questions about the sort of focus it should have in terms of what it gives to the Bar: should it be entirely value-led or entirely service-led, or a mixture of both?

The Treasurer showed a series of slides to demonstrate the impact of a number of small factors on the Bar Council's budget. For example, if practitioner numbers were declining by 1% per annum. If, hypothetically, that were combined with inflation at 2% and a reduction in the BSB's income, there would be an enormous impact in five years.

The Chief Executive had explained at an earlier meeting the work which is being done to build a 'long-term core scenario', so that the organisation is able to assess any matters on the horizon - out of its control -which may impact on finances. Those matters have to be analysed and assessed for risk. This work is underway.

GFQC asked who is carrying out the scenario planning? The Treasurer said that he, the incoming Treasurer, Lorinda Long and the Director of Finance are identifying risks and testing scenarios. GFQC said that the Inns are looking at a 10-20 year forecast of their finances as they plan for their education and training programme; the Treasurer said that he would shrink from calling what the Bar Council is doing a forecast as, at the moment, it is based on assumptions.

AWQC asked to what extent the data on barrister numbers can be broken down so as to identify areas or levels of practice? With that information, the organisation can identify where the 'fall-off' in numbers is coming from. The Treasurer explained that the Bar Council struggles to capture this data. The profession is bashful about giving that sort of information and more help is needed. The E&D team is working on more regular exit surveys and this may help, depending on the level of returns.

The Chairman said that he was very impressed about how the organisation is improving its processes and looking ahead.

6. BSB report

The Chairman said that he had been part of the panel convened to appoint a successor to RDQC as Chair of the BSB. Sir Andrew Burns, a former diplomat, has been appointed and will start in January 2014. The Chairman was delighted to hear after the appointment was made that although RDQC had not been allowed to play a part in the process, she had encouraged Sir Andrew to apply.

RDQC formally reported the appointment of Sir Andrew Burns KCMG from 1 January 2015. She first met him when they were fellow Governors at the BBC. He has had a very distinguished career as British Ambassador to Israel, British Consul-General in Hong Kong and UK High Commissioner to Canada. He has played a major part in university governance and is currently the UK's first Envoy for post-Holocaust issues. RDQC commended Sir Andrew to the Bar Council as a thoroughly good man, who will make a very good Chairman of the BSB.

RDQC commented that someone had mentioned to her before this meeting that some practitioners and Chambers may be struggling with the new BSB Handbook. RDQC stressed that the BSB is happy and willing to help and can offer seminars or workshops to groups of practitioners. RDQC encouraged anyone who is struggling with it to just ask for help. The development of the Handbook is an ongoing process and soon there will - hopefully - be more material about entity regulation. It is a bit like painting the Forth Bridge: as soon as there is an update, work starts again. Seminars can be tailored to suit the audience's needs.

The BSB's application to regulate entities has been submitted to the Legal Services Board. RDQC emphasised that this is not an application to regulate ABSs, which include non-lawyers, but barrister-led entities with a focus on advocacy, litigation and specialist legal advice.

The recent CPD 'spot check' exercise went well. Hopefully, the new regime has reduced the burden on practitioners, but it was encouraging to find that almost everyone is still undertaking CPD as appropriate.

Just under a week ago, Vanessa Davies (VLD) and RDQC attended a regulators' summit at the Ministry of Justice. Shailesh Vara MP attended for a while, as did the Lord Chancellor. All the legal regulators were represented around the table and there were some very strong opinions about what is good and bad about the current regulatory regime. Under the leadership of Sir Michael Pitt as the new Chairman of the LSB, the regulators will continue to meet with a view to working over the next couple of years to reform the Legal Services Act. It is primary legislation that badly needs revisiting. The other thing which came out strongly was that none of the regulators wanted a future dominated by one single regulator. It is RDQC's view that it is better for the Bar and in the public interest to stay small. A regulator needs to understand the community being regulated.

Ivor Collett (IC) asked whether the BSB Handbook is available in hard copy. VLD replied that there is a printable version which can be downloaded and there is also an app. The difficulty with hard copies - not least in terms of resources - is that it would have to be reprinted and circulated every time that there is an update.

RAQC asked about the Lord Chancellor's contribution to the summit RDQC had spoken of. RDQC said that there has been talk of 'light touch regulation' and she believes that the Lord Chancellor understands the difficulties under which the regulators labour owing to the Legal Services Act. He has also got to grips with the fact that the legal profession has many parts and that they are all different. RDQC said that she found recent speeches given by the Lord Chief Justice and the President of the Supreme Court about regulation - both apparently advocates of having an overarching regulator for the whole profession - surprising.

RDQC was asked whether previous versions of the Handbook are preserved so that it is possible to tell what version was in place on any given day. VLD gave an assurance that this is a very important safeguard and that all versions are archived and will appear on the website in due course. In the meantime, anyone can make an enquiry to the BSB to get a copy of the Handbook from any specific date.

Angela Wrottesley (AW) asked what package of support is available for Chambers undertaking their supervision return. VLD said that support can be tailored to suit those who need it and a request just needs to be made to the BSB.

Paul Mendelle QC (PMQC) said that when Sir Michael Pitt was appointed to chair the LSB, the Lord Chancellor had commented that he saw it as part of Sir Michael's job to take the LSB to the point where it is no longer needed. Does RDQC think that will happen? RDQC said that she is optimistic about this new regulators' forum but that there is likely to be a tussle over the next couple of years about the preferred direction.

GFQC asked if Sir Andrew Burns is of the same mind as RDQC about keeping separate regulators for each part of the profession. RDQC said that it was probably too early and that Sir Andrew will need to understand more about the profession before he forms a view.

AWQC asked about the BSB's intentions regarding interventions in relation to entities, which are hugely expensive. RDQC replied that the majority of interventions are driven by entities doing something wrong with client money; as barrister entities cannot hold client money, there should be far fewer. Additionally, the costs fall on those who are subject to intervention. However, the BSB is looking carefully at the costs of intervening, although until they start regulating entities, it is hard to say with any certainty what types of intervention might be necessary and how much it might cost.

AMQC said that anyone who gets into so much trouble that they need intervention will probably not be able to pay. VLD agreed that this is a risk and the BSB is looking at the possibility of holding money on account in the event of this happening.

AP said that the BSB's current consultation on entities raises fundamental questions about insurance and asked to what extent the BSB has been working with BMIF? Is it anticipated that BMIF will provide insurance for entities? VLD replied that the BSB is in close discussions with BMIF and that they have a commitment to their sustainability. However, they are also looking within the market.

The Chairman said that the Lord Chancellor had said some very wise things recently, including: "It is very important that the independent criminal Bar has a good future" (giving evidence to the Commons' Justice Committee) and also: "I have said to Sir Michael Pitt that during his time at the Legal Services Board, success means creating an environment where that organisation is not necessary in the long term"(at his speech at the CILEx presidential dinner). The Chairman commented that RDQC was absolutely right when she said that it is very important to prepare for a new Legal Services Act and to try to resist the call for a 'Super Quango' to regulate legal services.

7. BSB Entity Regulation consultation

The Chairman reminded the Bar Council of the BSB's entity regulation consultation, which includes questions about the BSB's powers in relation to interventions. The Law Society already has these powers and the BSB will do automatically when they are approved to regulate ABSs. However, the BSB has formed the view that this power is also important for non-ABS entities. There are also important, technical issues relating to insurance.

Responses are due in by 5 September which, with the summer break being around the corner, does not allow much time to formulate a response. The Chairman asked for any volunteers who may wish to assist the Bar Council prepare its response.
VLD added that the BSB is very aware of the tight timeframe and that if anyone wants to sit down with them and offer their views verbally for the BSB to make a note of, they can provide that service.

There were no questions. RDQC and VLD left the meeting.

8. COIC's charitable status 

The Chief Executive introduced James Wakefield (JW), Director of COIC, who had kindly agreed to attend to update the Bar Council on the progress of the incorporation of COIC. The Bar Council would also be asked to approve, in principle, amendments to the Bar Council constitution which are consequential to that incorporation and also to approve the Memorandum of Understanding between the Bar Council and COIC which replaces the moribund sections of the constitution and represents an important part of the new governance arrangements.

JW thanked the Chief Executive for the invitation to the meeting. He explained that he had been in post as Director of COIC for a year, the post having been created when COIC decided to change the way it operated. It was recognised that the fact that staff moved every three years, as did the leadership, and that the staff were seconded from the Inns on a temporary basis was not the most efficient or effective way to manage its activity. As such, the appropriate vehicle for the future was to set up a charity limited by guarantee, with new Articles and a new Constitution and with dedicated staff. The charity application was successfully granted in February, but COIC has only been operating as a charity since 1 July 2014.

These structural changes have made a fundamental difference to the way COIC operates on a day-to-day basis; the way meetings are held and discussions are taken forward are different. The Bar Tribunals and Arbitration Service has been toughened up. They have reformed the rules and procedures and appointed a permanent registrar. The Advocacy Training Council (ATC) also falls within this new regime and their work is growing, including critical training in relation to vulnerable witnesses.

COIC's ambition is to move to being more proactive. For example, JW and the President of COIC have been working with the Bar Council, Alistair MacDonald QC and HH Geoffrey Rivlin QC in response to the recent Jeffrey report and looking at potential business models for the Bar. They are also looking to grow the ATC into something like the 'Inns of Court College of Advocacy'. There are plenty of opportunities for the Inns to work more closely together. COIC is also pressing for significant changes to the BPTC, which need to be driven with the regulator. Concerns are largely around the large numbers on the course and the cost.

These changes to COIC necessitate amendments to the Bar Council's constitution. It is proposed that this is managed by removing the now moribund references to COIC and replacing them with a separate Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which focuses on communication and collaboration. In JW's experience, COIC and the Bar Council are strong at both.

Ruth Hughes (RH) asked about the level of equality and diversity representation in COIC's various discussions in terms of gender, race and the young Bar. JW said that, for example, COIC had just set up a working group for the development of an Inns' college which consists of senior members of each Inn, but they are also making sure that there is full representation, including members of the young Bar.

AWQC said that the focus of COIC's work seems to be all on education and training. Could COIC be a way to make the Inns work together in a much wider way? JW referred to Lord Judge's recent speech at Middle Temple on the role of the Inns and how he envisages much greater collaboration; it is agreed that it is a good thing. The creation of JW's role and this new incorporated body is symptomatic of a closer relationship.

It was put to JW that the impression of most Bar Council members is that there is not much collaboration between Bar Council and COIC. JW said that he disagreed; it is a far more organic relationship than previously and the MoU is a proper basis for meaningful collaboration, unlike the wording of the Bar Council's constitution, which attempted to "bind" COIC.

AMQC added that he believes it to be terribly important that the Inns change their means of communication not just with the Bar Council, but also with the Circuits. For those who do not practice in London, once you have been called to the Bar by an Inn, that may be the last contact you have with them for the rest of your career. In addition, COIC may focus on education and training, but most Circuits do that themselves. RH added that the Circuits don't really exist for commercial practitioners but SBAs do, so COIC needs to communicate effectively with them too.

The Chief Executive said that he and JW had been working closely together, committed to finding ways to deploy expertise across the Bar Council / COIC partnership, avoiding duplication and inefficiency.

The Chief Executive asked for approval in principle to the draft amendments to the Constitution, which will be brought back to the meeting in September for approval under Extraordinary Resolution. Approval in principle was given.

The Chief Executive also asked for approval for the MoU, which is a work in progress and will be developed as the COIC / Bar Council relationship matures. Approval was given.

9. Bar Council legal aid reform programme

Ian Bugg (IB) presented the update on the Bar Council's programme of work relating to civil legal aid reform (annex 8a). He referred to the Lord Chancellor's words from the response to the Transforming Legal Aid consultation, namely: "I have decided to proceed with most of the measures we proposed in April, to bear down on the cost of legal aid and ensure public confidence in the legal aid system".

IB explained that the Bar Council has been working hard to consider the consequences of bearing down on the cost of legal aid, particularly as a result of the LASPO reforms. The research conducted reveals that 80% of respondents suggest that they have seen significant delays in court and 88% of respondents in family law report a substantial increase in the number of litigants in person. 61% of respondents reported that lay clients said they had difficulty accessing representation and 72% of those who undertook family legal aid have seen a decrease in casework.

The consequence of bearing down on costs and making savings therefore appears to have resulted in far fewer people attending court and seeking legal representation. In some cases, people are not seeking legal aid because the only confidence that they have in the system is that they won't be granted any help.

IB wanted to pay tribute to the Bar Council, the Remuneration Committee, the Public and Private Civil Panels and to Susan Jacklin QC and the FLBA for the work that they are doing to make sure that people know what they are entitled to.

The Chairman referred to the quote from the Lord Chancellor about public confidence, which was also commented on in the Court of Appeal's recent judgment in the successful challenge against the residency test.

The Chairman referred to the update on the Bar Council's programme of work relating to criminal legal aid and criminal justice system reform (annex 8b). Further to that paper, there are also developments in the relationship with the MoJ, insofar as there are now plans for Professor Chalkley to meet the Government's statisticians in preparation for talks on the future of AGFS and VHCC.

10. Employed Barristers' Committee

Kevin McGinty (KM), Chairman of the Employed Barristers' Committee, presented this item with reference to the written report at annex 9.

KM remarked that the self-employed Bar may be quite a disparate lot, but at least they have the provision of advisory services and advocacy in common. The only thing that most employed barristers have in common is that they are not self-employed; the variety of practitioners the EBC represents is vast. This raises various challenges which the EBC has attempted to address by way of amending the committee's terms of reference in the Standing Orders, which have now been approved.

The EBC wants to engage better not only with its own membership, but also with the Inns, the circuits and the SBAs. The committee is also looking for a self-employed member of the committee and would like to encourage self-employed practitioners to consider attending one of the EBC's conferences or seminars. The last event at Lincoln's Inn was attended by 110 people, 80% of whom were in roles where they could directly instruct counsel or influence choice of counsel. Attending may therefore be beneficial not just from the perspective of improving engagement! The EBC has planned two seminars to take place in the autumn and winter. The first seminar will take place in September and will be on the subject of expert witnesses. The second will take place in December and will be on the subject of money laundering.

There were no questions.

11. Young Barristers' Committee

Daniel Sternberg (DS), Vice-Chair of the YBC, presented this item with reference to the written report at annex 10. In addition to the activities set out at annex 10, DS wished to add MHa's attendance at a junior lawyers' event and his own presence at a Magna Carta planning day. Forthcoming highlights in the YBC calendar include the Young Bar Conference on 18 October, at which Lord Judge and the Director of Public Prosecutions would be speaking. At the end of September, the YBC will be supporting the annual 'international weekend'.

DS expressed disappointment that the Chairman had not, on this occasion, informed Bar Council of previous events that took place on this day in history. He could, however, tell those gathered that 26 July marks the birthday of Aldous Huxley and Mick Jagger. He rather hoped that the future looked more Brave New World than Gimme Shelter.

12. Any other business

There was no other business.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the Bar Council will be held on 20 September 2014 at 10.00 at the Bar Council offices, followed by the Annual General Meeting at 11.00.