Managers and clerks turf war must end

New Bar Council chairman Stephen Irwin QC has called for an end to the turf war between clerks and practice managers in his first speech concerning his new role.

The Doughty Street barrister, who replaced Matthias Kelly QC at the end of last year, is set for a busy 2004. Speaking at a meeting hosted bytheLegalPractice Management Association at the end last year, Irwin said: Its not enough for clerks to cut the mustard in the old way. At present, he argued, there is a threat that clerks could de-skill and be replaced by practice managers. He also complained that practice managers focus too much on maximising profits.

Irwin highlighted a broad range of issues that he intends to tackle. These include the education of clerks, the bars independence and improving the lot of the publicly-funded bar.