I note the Law Society has issued a Practice Note expressing a number of concerns relating to the Bar’s new standard conditions of contract.
Amongst the clauses the Law Society has expressed concern over is that which provides for any hourly rate agreed with the barrister to be subject to reasonable periodic review by the barrister and that entitles the barrister to treat an agreement as terminated if the solicitor does not agree to any variation of the hourly rate. The Practice Note states:
“There may well be obvious difficulties with this and you should discuss with your client whether they are content for this to be agreed”.
Isn’t this clause just typical of the arrogant toffs at the Bar who think they should be allowed to unilaterally impose any revised hourly rate they want and well done to the Law Society for sticking up for the little man.
Out of curiosity, readers might like to compare this clause to that within the Law Society’s own model Conditional Fee Agreement:
“We review the hourly rate on [review date] and we will notify you of any change in the rate in writing.”
The only thing the Law Society’s model CFA allows the client to do if they are unhappy with the new rate is to terminate the agreement.
You couldn’t make it up.