International Journal of the Legal Profession. Since articles generally take some time to reach the public arena, we put out a pre-print version here.
One of the problems facing barristers we found was the inability to write letters on behalf of their client, collect evidence and take witness statements, or to attend clients at police stations. These hark back to the glory days of the Bar being only a referral profession. And in the context of direct access to barristers by clients made no sense.
With the passing of the Legal Services Act 2007 that no longer holds true.
The Legal Services Board has granted the Bar Standards Board's application to remove these obstacles (mind you they made this application on April 1??). This means that the Bar can start behaving like normal lawyers who interact with clients rather than believing themselves to be the guardians of the holy writ of law.
It's only taken a hundred years or so to get here.