You are here

First barrister partner in LDP revealed

13 April 2010

Daphne O’Connor, partner at Pegasus Legal Research in West Bromwich, is the first barrister to be recognised by the SRA as partner in an LDP.

O’Connor said the SRA approved her application to work alongside a solicitor in the two-partner LDP at the end of last month.

Pegasus Legal specialises in consumer credit law, debt counselling and employment and is hoping to move into housing and immigration so it can bid for a civil legal aid contract.

O’Connor said she had previously been running a small set of chambers, Pegasus Law Chambers, in Birmingham.

She said the most important thing an LDP offered her was direct contact with clients.

“Although I may be the first barrister in an LDP, I think this is the way things are going to be in the future,” she said.

“I genuinely want to help people and have direct access to clients.”

O’Connor said that once the Bar Standards Board (BSB) decided to relax its rules on LDPs in November 2009, she applied to the BSB for a waiver.

A spokesman for the SRA confirmed that it was aware of only one barrister working as a lawyer manager in an LDP – Daphne O’Connor.

LDPs must be approved by the SRA and the SRA must be notified of any new manager of a law firm, whether solicitor or barrister.

A spokeswoman for the BSB said it had granted waivers to 15 barristers to enable them to become managers of LDPs before the relaxation in the rules for barristers was approved by the Legal Services Board on 1 April 2010.

However, the BSB does not keep records of individual barristers working in LDPs.

In a separate development, the Financial Times has reported that a group of barristers including Helen Garlick at 18 Red Lion Court, a former assistant director of the SFO, is to set up a specialist bribery and corruption practice, called Fulcrum Chambers.

Fulcrum will operate as a barrister-only partnership and could be the first.

Categorised in:

Legal Aid EU & International Local government The Bar