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Bar CouncilThe Bar has a reputation for being suspicious of change. Put that together with barristers’ dread of a badly prepared set of papers and you can see why traditionalists are wary of some of the potential consequences of the introduction of the new regime for broadened direct access. But the new rules present a number of opportunities for the Bar which, if carefully managed, can lead to useful new sources of work.

The rule against direct access is largely a 19th century creation originally thought to be of importance only in contentious civil work. It hardened into a general practice in the 20th century, culminating in a decision by the Bar at its annual general meeting in 1956.

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