independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Labour denies backing barristers

Alan Shatter: ready to present amendments
Alan Shatter: ready to present amendments

THE Labour Party denies being in the back pocket of barristers in the Law Library after calling a temporary halt to reforms in the legal profession.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter's changes to legislation governing solicitors and barristers have been postponed until 2014.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore was involved in a blazing row with Mr Shatter this week over the Legal Services Bill.

The Justice Minister wants to allow multi-disciplinary practices to emerge, where solicitors, barristers and accountants can all work in the same legal firm.

But Labour has concerns about the proposal contained in amendments to the legislation.

Labour officials say the party is seeking reform but wants more time to weigh up the amendments. Mr Gilmore's spokesman said the party only got the amendments in recent days and there was a "bit of scepticism".

"It is wrong to say we have bought into the barristers' agenda. We are very firmly in favour of the reform agenda," the spokesman said.

The legislation was published as part of the bailout prog- ramme but has become bogged down due to objections.

Irish Independent

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