Message from President Arthur Moses SC
As a result of representations from members of the junior bar in relation to fee rates and payment for preparation time, I have held a meeting with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and the Commonwealth Solicitor for Public Prosecutions.
The CDPP for the first time this year conducted a survey of counsel from the private bar who are retained to undertake prosecution work. I congratulate the CDPP on this initiative as it will guide the manner in which the CDPP engage members of the private bar.
The CDPP has requested that any members of the NSW Bar who are of the view that more time is required to prepare matters than what has been allocated, then this should be raised at the first available opportunity so that it can be resolved. In relation to the daily rate for fees paid for briefs the CDPP is largely moving away from ad hoc fee increases, and noted that going forward, it will be reviewing the fees of all counsel regularly briefed, on a biennial basis, with the first review to occur in December 2018.
Members should also clarify with CDPP solicitors who make contact about a brief as to whether it is an inquiry in relation to availability as opposed to booking the barrister for a matter. This will avoid confusion and barrister’s diaries being unnecessarily booked. The Solicitor for the CDPP will also re-emphasise to solicitors the need for clarification.
Training program to be implemented
The CDPP and the NSW Bar have also agreed to work on a training program for members of the NSW Bar who wish to undertake work for the CDPP.
Submission on fees
In addition to the request of the CDPP in relation to individual approaches about fees, I invite members of the NSW Bar to send to Ting Lim at the NSW Bar Association at email@example.com any views that they wish to put forward in relation to the fees paid by the CDPP so that it may inform a submission to the CDPP from the NSW Bar in relation to a general increase in the fees to be paid to barristers. Could these submissions be sent by no later than 20 September 2018. The submission is an initiative of the NSW Bar Association and has not been sought by the CDPP who will need to consider it.