Should the professions of barristers and solicitors be amalgamated?


Should the professions of barristers and solicitors be amalgamated?


  • Young lawyers would not have to decide which profession to join
  • Eliminates wasted effort and duplication of work
  • Cost would be lower as there is only one fee
  • Easier for clients as it takes less time and there is no confusion
  • In America and Canada there is fusion of the professions and it works
  • Provide a one-stop shop for clients, they have start to finish with the same lawyer, Dealt by one person
  • Allows there to be one route for qualifying so not as much pressure to specialise at a junior level
  • The bar can seem old fashioned and unapproachable, fusion may reduce this image and allow for cross-pollination of ideas
  • Huge benefit in diversity as it acknowledges the potential for change
  • Streamline the process & provide continuity


  • Independence of the Bar - the independence ensures they are not subject to persuasion in the way they view and conduct the case
  • Standards of advocacy would fall - put at risk because of the lack of experience
  • Loss of expertise - small firms would not have access to the full range of knowledge and experience available at the bar
  • The second opinion of a barrister on a case can bring objectivity to and is very useful to solicitors confronting a client who thinks he has a good case
  • Loss of the 'cab rank rule' - fundamental rule that ensures clients will always receive proper representation no matter how distasteful or unpopular the case or client.
  • Benefit of the split profession include the detachment of barristers from clients mean that a more objective approach may be adopted. Ultimately the time taken to conclude a case is shortened.
  • Benefit of the split profession - Barristers can perform efficiently and cheaper than solicitors because their overheads are lower.
  • In 2001, the Office of Fair Trading suggested that the dual profession would make the services unnecessarily expensive.
  • May lead to a reconstruction of all law firms as barristers are self employed.
  • Increase the workload


I believe that professions shouldn't be amalgamated as the disadvantages of fusion outweigh the advantages. I believe as the UK system of having split professions works there is no need to change it. My arguments to not merge the profession include that it would cause unnecessary hassle for law firms to reconstruct, the loss of the cab rank rule is key disadvantage as I believe this may contravene with article 6 of the ECHR 'right to fair trial'. 




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