In response to today’s announcement from the MoJ on money for the legal advice sector, Amanda Pinto QC, Chair of the Bar, said:

“More money for charities to help the most vulnerable in society enforce their rights and gain access to justice, is always good news, particularly in these challenging times. But it does not go far enough to ensure the public will continue to have access to the specialised expertise that the legal professions as a whole provide. Without financial measures to support other legal practitioners, particularly self-employed barristers - many of whom are not eligible for the government’s existing support measures - there won’t be a profession with this expertise in a few months. Supporting law centres is only a small part of what is necessary to protect the public: if it is not accompanied by practical support for those barristers and solicitors in private practice, many of whom are struggling to stay afloat, access to justice will sink with them.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

  1. Press office contact: Press@BarCouncil.org.uk | T: 020 7092 8175
  2. The Bar Council is calling on the Treasury to:

    Increase the threshold above the £50,000 trading profit for self-employed barristers to ensure that more of the junior bar is eligible for relief, thereby going some way to ensuring the sustainability of the profession.

    Expand the types of acceptable evidence required to be eligible for self-employed relief, to include those under the threshold but without 2018/2019 tax returns.

    Extend business rates exemption relief to barristers’ chambers.

    Provide an urgent rescue package for those at the publicly funded Bar who provide a vital public service but are ineligible for the self-employed scheme.

    Provide an urgent rescue package for chambers.
     
  3. The Bar Council represents barristers (over 17,000) in England and Wales. It promotes:
  • The Bar’s high quality specialist advocacy and advisory services
  • Fair access to justice for all
  • The highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across the profession, and
  • The development of business opportunities for barristers at home and abroad.