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Showing posts from May, 2007

Public Access ≠ Public Enemy

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A meeting of counsel undertaking public access work should have takenplace at 23 Essex Street this afternoon. The purpose of the meeting was to launch a new bar association to be known as PABA (Public Access Bar Association). I had been invited but was unable to attend as I was attending a reception for my old friend Dai Davis, who has recently moved firms. However, I certainly intend to join and contribute to the PABA once it is up and running. The Bar on Direct Access The rule that counsel could accept instructions or give advice only through a solicitor, patent or trade mark attorney or other professional intermediary dates back only to the 1950s. When introduced, the rule was probably in the public interest. Members of the public had less information on the law and few had any idea of how to obtain legal services. There was a sharp distinction between solicitors and counsel. Law firms were limited to 20 partners, fewer solicitors were graduates and information storage and communic…