The Independent Bar

by Alex Williams

The Independent Bar

Barristers, it is well known, are gentlemen (and nowadays even ladies) of a fearlessly independent character, taking cases without fear or favour according to the "cab rank rule". They are also sole traders, not employees, and therefore don't have to do anyone's bidding. Except, of course, that for the most part it is solicitors who bring barristers work. As a result, barristers have to be very, very nice to solicitors.

Gone are the days when Sir Geoffrey could rely on a stream of forelock-tugging solicitors to bring him wealthy clients in a lot of trouble. Nowadays barristers have to engage in (heaven forbid) marketing their services, and around this time of year the champagne flows in the Temple as Chambers host sumptious drinks parties to entertain their solicitor clients.

So, while barristers may be nominally indendent, they ain't quite as independent as they used to be.



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