Report (5th Day)

Part of Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill – in the House of Lords at 3:45 pm on 20th March 2012.

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Photo of Baroness Deech Baroness Deech Crossbench 3:45 pm, 20th March 2012

My Lords, I should have declared an interest as chairman of the Bar Standards Board, which prohibits barristers from receiving or dealing in referral fees. If I gave the impression last week that referral fees that go to unions go direct to the political party and that is wrong, I apologise. My point is that it is happening in another way. I have not yet been corrected but my research on the internet showed that direct referrals from a party to a firm resulted in the firm paying a referral fee to the political party. Therefore, if it is not happening in one way, it may be happening in another.