As lawyers know, when the Legal Services Act 2007 comes fully into force, they will be able to choose from lots of different ‘vehicles’ in which to operate. Speaking at the Young Barristers conference last weekend, Robin Tolson QC of London’s Outer Temple, clearly a fan of the Wacky Races cartoon, had some amusing comparisons to make. The self-employed vehicle, he said, was for the commercial bar – glamorous, powerful and with too much testosterone – like Turbo Terrific, the car driven by Peter Perfect. Penelope Pitstop’s pink Compact Pussycat was the vehicle for the family bar, he suggested, as they had a good bedside manner. The Slag Brothers in their Boulder Mobile were like the barrister-only partnerships – slow and stuck in the stone age. The criminal bar would be in partnerships of two, with a silk on top shouting and calling the shots, while the junior did all the work – this was the Gruesome Twosome in their Creepy Coupe. But the most powerful vehicle was the block contracting procurement vehicle – represented by the Mean Machine. And, said Tolson, it would be the job of Lady Deech, the chairwoman of the bar’s regulator, to make sure it was not driven by Dastardly and Muttley.
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