Cab rank rule ‘fundamental’ to independent Bar

5RB's Desmond Browne QC interviewed in The Times ahead of inaugural speech

A move away from the the cab rank principle could lead to a loss of evenhandness and objectivity, according to 5RB’s joint Head of Chambers Desmond Browne QC


In an interview which appears in The Times today, Mr Browne warned against a system where barristers choose only to prosecute or defend.


Speaking about threats and opportunities facing the Bar, Mr Browne, the 2009 Chairman of the Bar Council, indicated his support for lifting the absolute ban on partnerships, but cautioned that this could also result in reduced freedom of choice for clients as barristers in a profit-sharing partnership would be prevented from acting against each other.


Mr Browne will be making his inaugural speech on Monday 8 December 2008. He will be continuing his advisory practice during 2009, and will be making such court appearances as are consistent with his duties as Chairman of the Bar. He will be returning to full-time practice at 5RB on 1 January 2010.