The number of tenancies on offer to newly qualified barristers plummeted by almost two-thirds in 2012 as chambers prepared for a wave of public funding cuts, according to figures published today.However, the Bar Council and Bar Standards Board issued a statement this afternoon saying the latest figure is incorrect. The bodies said they are in the process of reviewing the statistics, but expect the number for 2012 to be ‘closely aligned’ with previous years.The statistics, published jointly by the Bar Council and BSB, show that there were 194 newly registered tenancies in 2011/12 – the latest year for which figures are available – down 64% from 541 in 2010/11.Before 2011/12 the average number of tenancies was 499 a year. Of those newly qualified barristers fortunate enough to gain sought-after tenancies, 62% were men and 9% came from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds.The Bar Council and BSB said: ‘The recently published Bar Barometer listed the number of new tenancies for 2011/12 as 194. This figure is incorrect. We are in the process of confirming the final figure, but current indications are that it will be more closely aligned with previous years.‘We are seeking to understand how this error occurred and are looking at related statistics which may require amendment as a result. We will issue a further update as soon as we can and apologise for this mistake.’The third annual Bar Barometer shows the number of aspiring barristers applying for the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) remained steady, while the number of students starting the course rose.There were 3,099 applications to study on the BPTC commencing in 2010/11, with 1,422 starting the course. The following year saw 3,017 applications and 1,732 starting their studies.Pupillage numbers, which have dropped steadily over recent years, also remained stable. In 2011/12, 446 barristers started first six pupillages and 477 second sixes, compared with 438 and 475 respectively in the previous year.Of those starting pupillage in 2011/12, 54% were male and 79% white, showing a greater gender and ethnic disparity than in the previous year, when 46% of pupils were male and 67% white.Overall, the number of barristers has remained the roughly the same – 15,585 held a practising certificate in 2012, an increase of four from the previous year. Of those in practice, 64% were men and 35% women, while 11% came from a BME background.Criminal law remained the most common area of practice, accounting for 25% of barristers, followed by common law (18%), personal injury (15%) and family law (14%).Commenting on the figures, chairman of the Young Barristers’ Committee Max Hardy said: ‘I assume the precipitous decline in tenancies is in publicly funded sets; there is no reason why commercial and privately funded sets would be slicing the number of tenancies.‘With that in mind, there is no doubt this [was] caused by the legal aid cuts that have [now] happened – LASPO removed funding for nearly all private family cases; threatened cuts; and the general perception that this is not a growth area at the bar.’Hardy said he is also concerned about the number of people who drop out soon after gaining tenancy. ‘This figure is not picked up anywhere and it ought to be looked into,’ he said.
A London firm has filed a claim for judicial review in the High Court challenging the Law Society over its refusal to allow an employee to be reaccredited on a mental health accreditation scheme.Since August 2014, publicly funded representatives in first-tier tribunal (mental health) proceedings have needed to be members of Chancery Lane’s mental health accreditation scheme.GT Stewart, in a post on its website, said: ‘The Law Society accepts that Rebecca Hill completed professional development hours in the preceding three years to her application for reaccreditation. However, it does not accept that all of the training undertaken was “mental health law related” and took the decision to refuse her application.’The Law Society has not published detailed guidance on what areas are accepted to be mental health law-“related”. However, in its published “expected standards of competence”, applicants are expected to have sufficient knowledge of areas of law, such as mental capacity, community care and human rights, which are relevant to advising and representing clients in proceedings before the first-tier tribunal. Rebecca maintains that the courses which she undertook came squarely within the competencies required and that the Law Society’s decision to refuse her application for reaccreditation to the mental health accreditation Scheme is unlawful.’Responding, a Law Society spokesperson said: ‘We have received a pre-action protocol letter and are aware a claim is being issued. We will not be commenting further at this time.’
Ben&Ben, IV of Spades, SB19 win big at 5th Wish Music Awards Wawrinka, who made his Grand Slam breakthrough in Australia in 2014, had a tough time in the first night match on Margaret Court Arena, scraping past 35th-ranked Martin Klizan 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, 4-6, 6-4.In the ninth game of the fifth set, Wawrinka smashed a soft half-volley from Klizan straight back into the Slovakian’s body, clipping the frame and just missing his midsection. He stepped over the net to ensure Klizan was OK, then went on to hold serve and broke in the next game to finish off in 3 hours, 24 minutes.No. 5 Kei Nishikori also needed 3½ hours to beat Andrey Kuznetsov 7-5, 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (6), 6-2, while No. 14 Nick Kyrgios returned from his suspension for underperforming in Shanghai last year by racing through a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 win over Gastao Elias in 85 minutes.Former U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic, 2008 Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 19 John Isner, No. 23 Jack Sock, No. 27 Bernard Tomic, No. 29 Viktor Troicki and No. 31 Sam Querrey.No. 16 Lucas Pouille was the highest-ranked man to lose on day one.Five of the women’s seeds lost on the opening day, led by No. 4 Simona Halep, who lost 6-3, 6-1 to Shelby Rogers in the first match on Rod Laver Arena.French Open champion Garbine Muguruza needed a medical timeout before advancing 7-5, 6-4 over Marina Erakovic.Seven-time major winner Venus Williams beat Kateryna Kozlova 7-6 (5), 7-5, avoiding back-to-back first-round exits at Melbourne Park, and 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard continued her recent resurgence by winning the last of the night matches 6-0, 6-4 against Louisa Chirico in 56 minutes.Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig, No. 8 Svetlana Kuznetsova, No. 10 Carla Suarez, No. 11 Elina Svitolina, No. 20 Zhang Shuai were among the other seeded players advancing.CoCo Vandeweghe overcame a bout of nausea to beat No. 15-seeded Roberta Vinci 6-1, 7-6 (3). Luis Manzano jokes about Mikee Morada’s proposal to Alex Gonzaga: ‘Baka nagtali lang ng sintas’ Bulacan inmates, jail guards raise donations for Taal victims Motorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board member The 16-year-old Destanee Aiava became the first player born in this millennium to play in the main draw of a major, but the milestone match ended in a 6-3, 7-6 (4) loss to Mona Barthel. Federer has won four Australian titles and reached the semifinals or better in 12 of the previous 13 years, and making himself at home on Rod Laver Arena.He’ll play another qualifier in the second round after Noah Rubin beat Bjorn Fratangelo.Plenty of highly-ranked players concurred that first rounds are never easy, including defending champion and top-ranked Angelique Kerber and U.S. Open champion Stan Wawrinka.In his first Grand Slam match with the elevated status of having a knighthood and the No. 1 ranking, Andy Murray berated himself when he made mistakes and frequently yelled during a 7-5, 7-6 (5), 6-2 win over Illya Marchenko.In other words, nothing much has changed.ADVERTISEMENT He served 19 aces and had only one double-fault in a 7-5, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 win on Monday over Melzer, but dropped serve three times and had moments of frustration.“It’s nice to be playing normal tennis again,” he said. “It was a long road (but) I’m in the draw, which is a beautiful thing.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnFederer surprised himself by still feeling nervous when the match started, and took a while to settle down.“I was fine all day … I felt fine. Then I hit four frames in a row,” he said. “It was like, ‘Whew, it’s not as easy as I thought it was going to be,’” he said. “Think I struggled for a while to find that groove, that rhythm.” Anne Curtis talks about renewing faith in God amid the world’s ‘noise and clutter’ The five-time finalist comfortably navigated what he hoped was the first step to a drought-breaking Australian Open title.Kerber, who is defending a major title and is also the No. 1 seed at a Grand Slam for the first time, had some nervous moments in her 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 win over Lesia Tsurenko.Kerber won her first Grand Slam title here last year, beating Serena Williams in the final after saving match point in the first round.So after wasting a match point before her serve was broken as Tsurenko rallied to win the second set, Kerber said her mind raced back 12 months.“To be honest, I was thinking about this,” she said. “When I lost the second set, and I had match point, I was thinking about my match last year in the first round — first rounds are always tough.”Murray has lost four of the last six finals here — including the last two — to six-time champion Novak Djokovic. But he did take something off his long-time friend at the end of last year when he replaced Djokovic in the top ranking during a stunning finish to the season.He subsequently received a knighthood in Queen Elizabeth II’s New Year’s honors list.Murray said the ranking and the civic honors won’t change anything, and he faces “the same pressure, same expectations.”There’s one thing he desperately wants to change.“I’ve never won here — I’m going to try to change that this year,” he said. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town LATEST STORIES US Open champion Wawrinka struggles in 1st match Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos Switzerland’s Roger Federer celebrates after defeating Austria’s Jurgen Melzer in their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. AP Photo/Aaron FavilaMELBOURNE, Australia — Roger Federer returned from a six-month layoff to beat fellow 35-year-old Jurgen Melzer just before midnight on day one of the Australian Open, agreeing it felt a bit like coming home.The 17-time major winner hadn’t played at tour level since Wimbledon, giving his injured left knee time to heal.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Palace: Crisis over ABS-CBN franchise unlikely DILG to lock shops in Tagaytay City, other areas near Taal View comments