(Original post by legalworld)
Why do people want to be called to the Bar when they could become a solicitor and get higher rights? That way they would have alot of secuirty but still do advocacy work. With all the uncertainty over the future of the Bar why are people aiming for it?
Lewis and Evil_Genius have highlighted the main issues.
The provision of Higher Rights was supposed to herald a wave of solicitors undertaking their own advocacy at the very top levels of litigation. Various pundits suggested that this was the end of the Bar and that, within a few years, we would be looking at a combined profession.
Those of us who actually did
contentious work had a slightly different viewpoint which seems to have been borne out.
Solicitors who want to undertake really good advocacy fall foul (or should that be "fowl"?) of a chicken and egg scenario. Clients want, and are entitled to, the best courtroom representation that their money can buy. By courtroom representation, I include all the associated work that goes with that i.e. preparation for hearings, drafting skeletons, understanding of the bench and opponents etc etc. In my view, few solicitors can legitimately (or even ethically) suggest that they have the same level of courtroom ability, expertise or experience as their peers at the Bar. Accordingly, the solicitors don't get instructed to do the work and are unable to develop that crucial experience.
scope for good solicitors to do smaller scale cases and hearings. In many circumstances there will be a cost saving to the client as there is no need for a separate individual to be briefed and retained to undertake the advocacy. However, as soon as the matters become complex, time-consuming and of greater financial importance then I struggle to see how or why a client would want to retain a solicitor to undertake the advocacy when there are better and cheaper options at the Bar.
The larger law firms love to advertise to undergrads the potential of higher rights advocacy and trumpet their wonderful training courses etc. The reality is that getting solicitors to do such advocacy flies directly in the face of their strategies to have teams working on a small number of massive cases, rather than a large number of small cases. So the next time Herbies tells you that their higher rights training is a key component of the development of their litigation lawyers, take it with a pinch of salt!