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English Lawyers between Market and StateThe Politics of Professionalism$
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Richard L Abel

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198260349

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198260349.001.0001

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Defending the Temple

Defending the Temple

(p.159) 5 Defending the Temple
English Lawyers between Market and State


Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses a prediction that the Bar would retain most of its advocacy market (aside from losses to the Crown Prosecution Service and Criminal Defence Service), as well as the associated prerogatives of silk and judgeships. The solicitors' market was more valuable, vulnerable, and volatile. House-selling was to be vertically integrated, with solicitors unlikely to be the big winners. Conveyancing was to be concentrated, since consumers cared more about price than quality. Multinational partnerships would proliferate, although some City firms would dominate rather than be subordinated to foreign lawyers (even Americans) and multidisciplinary partnerships would expand. And the future of law, like all knowledge industries, lied with the specialist. Restrictive practices that had withstood criticism for centuries collapsed in less than a decade. The market was truly inexorable.

Keywords:   Bar, silk, solicitors, conveyancing, multinational partnerships, multidisciplinary partnerships

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