So­lic­i­tors and se­nior coun­sel

The Irish Times - - Comment & Letters -

Sir,– Recog­nis­ing the knowl­edge and achieve­ments of so­lic­i­tors by grant­ing them the ti­tle of se­nior coun­sel is a wel­come and ap­pro­pri­ate devel­op­ment in our na­tion’s le­gal his­tory. How­ever, the sug­ges­tion in your ar­ti­cle (“So­lic­i­tors can now be­come se­nior coun­sel after 300-year-old law is over­turned”, News, July 2nd) that ap­pli­cant so­lic­i­tors must “have ex­cel­lent ad­vo­cacy skills and a knowl­edge of spe­cial­ist lit­i­ga­tion” is mis­lead­ing. The le­gal ba­sis and pub­lished guide­lines reg­u­lat­ing the ad­mis­sion of so­lic­i­tors to the ti­tle of se­nior coun­sel re­quire only that one of three cri­te­ria are met by ap­pli­cant so­lic­i­tors, namely: ex­cel­lence in ad­vo­cacy, ex­cel­lence in spe­cial­ist lit­i­ga­tion, or spe­cial­ist knowl­edge in an area of law.

So­lic­i­tors with vast ex­pe­ri­ence in niche ar­eas of le­gal prac­tice have been com­mon­place in Ire­land for decades and, re­sult­ing from the fi­nal cri­te­rion at least, a mul­ti­tude of those so­lic­i­tors are qual­i­fied to ap­ply for patents of prece­dence and to be ad­mit­ted as se­nior coun­sel.

My view is that suit­ably qual­i­fied so­lic­i­tors should be quick to ap­ply and that our le­gal ser­vices land­scape will be greatly en­riched by the di­ver­sity and in­clu­siv­ity that will re­sult from this long over­due and hardly ground-break­ing devel­op­ment (the UK has ad­mit­ted so­lic­i­tors to the equiv­a­lent rank of queen’s coun­sel since 2004). – Yours, etc,

GLEN ROGERS, So­lic­i­tor,

Dublin 2.

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