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Now is not the time for infighting over quality assessment

Accreditation is a positive step towards ensuring 
quality representation, argues Felicity Gerry

21 May 2012

I know Sundeep Bhatia. He takes his profession seriously and I am sure he is a great advocate although we have never been in court together. Two weeks ago he wrote of his frustrations in relation to advocacy accreditation. Abused on twitter, his higher court advocacy qualification ridiculed by members of the Bar and recently forced to attend court on pointless hearings as a result of inefficient court listing.

There is evidence in every court centre that the rise of solicitor advocates has taken more and more cases in house rather than to independent counsel. I have certainly witnessed barristers openly expressing concern about the reduction in available work, the reduction in fees and the concern that solicitors of insufficient quality and experience are being sent to court to ensure that the fees stay in house. Judges have voiced concern about this issue too.
I have also heard solicitor advocates openly speak abou...

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