‘Treason To The Bar’


President of the High Court Mary irvine

This morning.

Further to the imminent retirement of Mary Irvine as the first woman president of the High Court…

…Via Irish Times:

Ms Justice Irvine championed controversial new guidelines to slash minor personal injury awards – a deeply, deeply unpopular move in the eyes of many barristers:

Treason, as far as I’m concerned, what she has done amounts to treason to the Bar,” one senior counsel fumed to The Irish Times this week, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Barristers have felt under siege for some years now, but the impact of the personal injury guidelines has particularly contributed to division in the legal world about Ms Justice Irvine’s tenure in the State’s third most senior judicial position.

“Remote hearings have been expanded much more than necessary, depriving junior barristers of essential training opportunities, and judges should never have got involved in making guidelines which mean people will not get properly compensated for their injuries,” said the same barrister.

Up to a third of barristers may quit, believes a junior counsel: “I think Ms Justice Irvine was excellent at getting the courts up and running again after Covid but I would have liked to see her, as a barrister herself, being more sympathetic to the position of barristers,” she said.


“The personal injuries barristers can yearn for the halcyon days of the past all they want, those days are not coming back,” according to another barrister, whose area of practice does not include personal injuries. “There’s a whiff of misogyny about a lot of the criticism of Judge Irvine

Legal world divided on legacy of retiring High Court president *Mary Carolan, Irish Times)


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14 thoughts on “‘Treason To The Bar’

    1. chimpy

      No.1 youre comment is flawed. Barristers dont chase clients, its the solicitors job to get clients. They then employ a barrister to speak in court for them.

      No.2 I don’t think you realise how fupping poor barristers/students are after getting out of the course from kings inns. Then they’re expected to devil for 2 years for nothing and pay their fees before starting their own practice, which in fairness is like building a business from the ground up, a process that can take upwards of 5-10 years before you’re earning anywhere near enough to house and feed yourself.

      No.3 Its a very tricky business to do well in, unless you are connected in some way through family and even then its difficult to become in any way successful. I’m not a barrister myself but have friends that have gone through the process and more often than not people leave the profession before ever making any money.

      1. ManT

        Your 100% right chimpy it’s a closed profession for the off spring of very wealthy barristers and it ain’t right, but they are definitely the last profession the general public will be filling the poor bucket for. :)

      2. Zaccone

        The reason its so hard to do well as a barrister now is success is not tied to customer service, or legal proficiency – its primarily down to connections. We need to get rid of the ridiculous system of having barristers unable to deal directly with clients. We don’t need solicitors _and_ barristers.

        Then the barristers who are actually good at their jobs will have clients coming to them, instead of said barristers having to “earn” their way into a corrupt system of client referrals.

      3. Termagant

        Kings Inns is 12k for the course as far as I can see, which can be spread over two years. I paid almost as much for my own postgrad. What’s the starting salary for a freshly popped-out baby barrister?

    2. Kine

      They really thought they really had a god given right
      When you wonder why you are being ripped off by insurance companies remember these guys
      Many cases ended up in the high courts and they knew before a case was even heard in the high court the prospect was the costs would amount to a hundred grand
      So many cases settled on the steps of the court for tens of thousands of euro
      It was brilliant while it lasted until Maria Bailey was the straw that broke the camels back
      Every one was happy except the poor schmuck who found his insurance going through the roof

  1. johnny

    (…Ms Justice Irvine is x wife of Michael Moriaty,Chair of the Moriarty Tribunal)
    just an aside given all the DOB news.

  2. curmudgeon

    More women “in power” than ever before, but dare criticize them and you’re instantly a misogynist.

    Was taking that anonymous source you’ve got there seriously until that bit.

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