Recently we have seen some members of the bar pledge that they will not act against peaceful climate activists or for new fossil fuel projects. They argue the climate crisis is too important. This amounts to an anticipatory breach of the cab rank rule, under which a barrister must accept instructions on matters in which they are competent to act, regardless of the individual advocate’s personal views on the profile of the client or the facts of the matter, in order to ensure everyone has access to justice.

In this article, first published by The Law Society Gazette, Partners Corinne Staves and Andrew Pavlovic set out what law firms need to think about before rejecting clients on ethical grounds.