QASA in the face of PCT


Time to press the pause button

Whatever the merits or otherwise of a quality assurance scheme for advocacy, the recent proposals to cull the numbers of solicitors and barristers practising in the criminal courts is reason enough to put the scheme on hold until 2015 at the earliest.

With proposals that will see 1200 or more firms close, the job losses will be enormous. Even if there were economies of scale to be had, they would be in the main purchased through salary shedding as that is any firms greatest overhead.

At a conservative estimate over 5000 solicitors will lose their job. Surviving firms will be forced into conducting a greater volume of crown court advocacy thereby driving potentially thousands of barristers away from the criminal bar.

Given this stark reality it is staggering that the regulators should think it proper to extract monies from lawyers who stand little chance of even practising in the future. It is an act tantamount to taking from the weak and vulnerable at a time when everyone should be concentrating on the fight to save each and every lawyers career.

Time to put QASA on ice.