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The Bar no longer enjoys a monopoly on advocacy but the disaster predicted for juniors at the commercial and Chancery bars has not transpired. Nevertheless, even the top sets have lowered their sights to keep busyBy any standards, the past decade has been a tough one for the English Bar. Lord Woolf and his Civil Procedure Rules have cut the number of claims going through the courts; the restructuring of legal aid has devastated the number of personal injury claims; the Office of Fair Trading seems hell-bent on tearing down some of the Bar’s most cherished traditions and the Access to Justice Act has produced a raft of potential competitors in the form of solicitor advocates. But have these changes done any real damage to the commercial and Chancery Bar?

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