Stobart Barristers

Eddie Stobart

Eddie Stobart subsiduary, Stobart Barristers has entered the legal ring to provide direct public access in criminal cases.

‘Stobart Barristers’ was formed last year charging fixed fees and using paralegals to instruct their team of barristers.

Stobart’s legal director Trevor Howarth said,

“We can deliver the service at a cost that’s palatable for the taxpayer, our business model was developed with this in mind”

“We …are well known for taking out the waste, and the waste here is the duplication of solicitors going to the courtroom. At the moment there are 1,600 legal aid firms; in future there will be 400. At Stobart, we wouldn’t use 10 trucks to deliver one product.”

Trevor Howarth has developed some insight into the legal process. He is shortly to face trial for contempt of court , although it has to be said that the background to the allegations is decidedly murky. But, no doubt it places him in an informed position to comment on the provision of legal services.


In my previous blog ‘The Price is Right we looked at the impact of third party investors moving into the legal market place. There, holding company LawVest introduced their Riverview concept, causing both consternation and interest amongst legal professionals. Other recent entrants include Parabis.

The Bar Council, spearheaded by current Chair Maura McGowan, has launched its 38 degrees petition to oppose the move to competitive tendering for publicly funded criminal defence contracts.

Whilst understanding the potential for problems, the blogger does not share the Bar Council’s calamity vision.

We are, after all, dealing with public money, a finite resource. A proper legal service for the defence of criminal charges is essential, but not at unsustainable cost. The proliferation of criminal defence practices during the blogger’s career has not added to the quality of representation, as neither has the higher rights of audience for solicitors improved the legal landscape.

Is the time not right for those who spend public money being more accountable for the costs?

With direct public access to an expert barrister, should the Bar not be focussing its attention on obtaining and managing public funded contracts, rather than supporting the disparate high street solicitors practices of the past?


3 comments on “Stobart Barristers

  1. finolamoss says:

    This is the future for all public serves- private monopoly outsourcing corporations, backed by venture capitalists.

    This is the advent of knowledge, skills and welfare capitalism. Effectively ripping them off for managers, and investors.

    CAPITA and SERCO, have already done this with court translation and prison services. And were to take over child protection, despite being investigated for fraud, and paying 70 million back to the government, for prisoners they had not tagged .

    They will soon take over justice, via our courts, a very lucrative commodity..

    Social Care, is already effectively owned by large corporate, cultish care agencies, employing zero hour, itinerant workers, often immigrants.

    All these outsourcers, are effectively unaccountable, and easily liquidated.

    Old, disabled and children service users are captured, and encaged in secret care and foster homes, and ‘independent’ living units, under the Mental Capacity Act and Children and Families Act..

    Their is no competition, choice, or accountability-the perfect business model..

    But is there not a huge conflict of interests,to say nothing of the danger of hidden insider dealings, and what would the monopoly and mergers committee have said ?

  2. Trevor Howarth eventually had his committal for trial for contempt overruled by the Court of Appeal (Gloster LJ delivering the judgment) and left Stobart Barristers to run the ABS called ‘One Legal’ I agree with Finolamoss that legal services should be managed by accountable lawyers rather than profit seeking corporations. When they are not so professionally managed, will this mean the end of legal services as we know them?

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