Recently, the Bar Council announced that it was to instruct all Barristers Chambers to use The (New) Standard Contractual Terms For The Supply of Legal Services to Authorised Persons 2012 (otherwise known as Annexe T).
Where do we stand as Solicitors?
In effect any Solicitor etc. who now instructs Counsel is subject to those terms now.
The Law Society have been in negotiations with the Bar Council on creating a generally approved new set of terms of engagement in written format. No prizes for guessing that they could not agree. Both sides are accusing the other of being unreasonable to the point, in my humble view, that they BOTH look like petulant children.
The Bar Council as I understand is simply driving a coach and horses through negotiations by simply saying to Counsel and Counsels Chambers that they will go ahead anyway and indeed have done.
The Law Society have taken their bat and ball home and said in effect to us not to agree the standard contractual terms and negotiate INDIVIDUALLY.
What a nightmare.
I have pored over the Law Society’s Practice Note on the new terms, I have also seen the Bar Council’s Guidance in response and neither of them seem sensible in the approach. As far as I am aware, therefore, we are left in limbo where we are expected to negotiate direct with each Counsel that we use each time we use them. What a bloody nightmare!
What surprises me is that there is little comment on the new terms. Are you (Solicitors) all aware of them?
I have revised the new terms to something that I think is workable, sensible and fair (wasn’t that hard to do but was time consuming) and so far the Chambers that I use have been happy to adopt the changes.
What is everyone else doing?
If you do not have the (Law Society’s) Practice Direction or the (Bar Councils) Guidance and Annexe T I am happy to send you a copy or try to find link for you. I am also happy to share my adapted version of the Annexe T if anyone wishes to have a copy of the same. (Please do not be offended, but I will only reply to Solicitors).
The information provided in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice and each relationship breakdown requires careful consideration in our view by a fully qualified Solicitor before decisions are made and before you embark on a certain course of action.
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