Message from the PIBA Chair - Summer 2022


 

Book Discounts: these are always welcome but particularly when the news about inflation is so grim. PIBA members can secure a 20% discount on the new Edition of PNBA’s Facts & Figures (being published in September) by emailing [email protected]. Below are the formats and standard rate prices:

Title

Quantity

Net Total

VAT Total

Gross Total

FACTS & FIGURES  2022/23 TABLES FOR CALCULATIONS OF DAMAGES - PRINT

1

£68.00

£0.00

£68.00

FACTS & FIGURES  2022/23 TABLES FOR CALCULATIONS OF DAMAGES - Ebook

1

£68.00

£0.00

£68.00

FACTS & FIGURES  2022/23 TABLES FOR CALCULATIONS OF DAMAGES - Print & Ebook

1

£88.00

£0.00

£88.00

In addition, we are currently negotiating with Thomson Reuters to secure a discount on the full range of Injury titles. There will be a new dedicated portal on the TR website for PIBA members to place orders and the details will follow in September.

 

Fixed Recoverable Costs (FRC): we continue to lobby for action to address the longstanding failure to index-link the level of FRC and other shortcomings, such as last-minute adjournments for no fee. Our gratitude goes to Martyn McLeish who drafted the latest detailed paper PIBA submitted to the MoJ, CPRC and Senior Judiciary in July. You can read ‘FRC in Civil Cases: The Bar’s case for Reform’ here.

This was well timed, being submitted just before the Civil Justice Council’s one day Costs Conference, on 13 July, which discussed FRC and costs budgeting amongst other issues. Vos MR was there at the start and his deputy, Birss LJ was there all day.

PIBA had a strong presence, with me and four other members of the Executive Committee (EC) in attendance. The Bar Council was also there in force including its Policy Lead, Adrian Vincent, and also the Vice Chair Elect of the Bar, Sam Townend QC. Our thanks to the PIBA and BC delegations for speaking up in the various sessions throughout the day and making sure PIBA’s voice was heard loud and clear on FRC.

This conference was part of the CJC’s latest and broad consultation covering FRC, costs budgeting, protocols and guideline hourly rates:

https://www.judiciary.uk/related-offices-and-bodies/advisory-bodies/cjc/working-parties/costs/

Crucial issues for the Bar/PIBA arise. The direction of travel is the extension of FRC into six-figure claims.  A working party is preparing PIBA’s further response and liaising with the BC for its support in lobbying.

 

Consultations: the flow of consultations continues unabated over the summer! Beyond FRC, we are grateful those who have recently drafted or are actively drafting responses for PIBA to consultations on subjects including Vulnerable Litigants, Regulatory Reform, Compulsory Mediation, and Criminal Injuries Compensation. They are or will be available on the website.

 

Circuits and Education: We are proud of PIBA’s long-standing track record as the leading SBA for the quality and frequency of its educational provision. We have built on that by encouraging more Circuit engagement. Since Easter, PIBA has held well-received seminars in Leeds and Bristol, as well as our regular programme of London events. All events are advertised on the PIBA website and email updates will follow, but for your diary:

20 October 2022: PIBA Annual Richard Davies Lecture. Bean LJ will be speaking on PI Practice from the 1970s to today, at the Ashworth Centre, Lincoln’s Inn

10 November 2022: PIBA Speed Mentoring event (at Gatehouse Chambers, London)

12 November 2022: PIBA Northern Circuit Conference

19 November 2022: PIBA Winter Conference (London)

24 to 26 March 2023: PIBA Annual Conference (Oxford)

 

Outreach, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Retention: I am passionate about PIBA doing more in this area. Sarah Lambert QC and Shahram Sharghy have kindly agreed to take over from me and Vice-Chair of PIBA, Emily Formby QC, as co-chairs of PIBA’s ED&I sub-committee.

We have brought new talent onto the EC to ensure that the full range of practice areas under the PI umbrella and associated with it, a cross-section of call levels and practice locations are represented. The new arrivals have also helped to improve the ethnic and gender diversity.

BC statistics demonstrate the importance of similar efforts to promote diversity and retention at the wider PI Bar.  Watch out for details of the speed mentoring event mentioned above, in November. Please do step forward as a mentor as well as a mentee!

We have recently agreed a three-year commitment to social mobility by which PIBA will provide £3,000pa towards a collective effort by a range of Specialist Bar Associations to fund bursaries for ICCA Bar Course students. ED&I is of course about much more than money and PIBA will also work with ICCA to provide skills workshops to mentor Bar students.

The BC is restarting its International Legal and Development Grant Programme and PIBA is partnering with the BC to provide funding for successful applicants under 7 years call. PIBA will again be represented on a panel about civil pupillages at the BC Pupillage Fair in October.

PIBA has provided part of the funding for a BC Wellbeing at the Bar research project to look at kindness in the workplace and strategies to address the worrying trends coming out of reports on bullying, discrimination and retention problems at the Bar. For insight into the challenge the Bar faces, I recommend the frank article by new EC member, Rehana Azib QC, in June’s edition of Counsel Magazine:

https://www.counselmagazine.co.uk/articles/lessons-learnt-the-worst-can-bring-out-the-best-in-you  

 

Criminal Bar Association: In June, I put out a statement on social media and on the Association’s website, offering PIBA’s support for our colleagues in the CBA in all that they are doing to ensure adequate funding for the criminal justice system.  

https://www.piba.org.uk/2022_06_criminal_bar

 

Ukraine: Please do have a look at the joint Inner and Middle Temple placement scheme for Ukrainian lawyers and see if you or your chambers are in a position to get involved:

https://www.innertemple.org.uk/your-professional-community/international/ukrainian-lawyers-matching-scheme/

 

Thank you: We are grateful to those on the Executive Committee for all their efforts on PIBA’s behalf as well as the wider membership who, for instance, step forward to speak at educational events or otherwise give their time to further the interests of the PI Bar.

I hope you have all had or will manage some downtime over the remainder of the summer. We look forward to seeing you at PIBA’s educational events in the autumn.

Kind regards

Charles Bagot QC

PIBA Chair

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