Simon Spence QC has resigned as a candidate for election as Vice Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association. He made a significant error in his election manifesto and has paid a heavy price for that mistake, namely the loss of his candidacy together with intense criticism from representatives of both legal professions, the Bar and Solicitors. Following his attempts to answer those criticisms during the last 24 hours, he has decided to stand down.
For those who have raised questions, it must be understood that Simon Spence QC made a personal decision to stand for election. He was not selected by Red Lion Chambers, nor did his manifesto represent the views of Red Lion Chambers. No member of Red Lion Chambers saw the manifesto before it was submitted to the CBA.
In common with all who practise within any criminal law set of chambers, Simon Spence QC is an independent, self-employed barrister who has no contract of employment. He will continue to practise from these chambers. Whilst he will no doubt have to deal with the personal consequences of his short-lived candidacy for its impact upon his own work, it would be quite wrong for that to extend to other members of Red Lion Chambers.
Simon Spence QC is entitled to and will receive personal support in moving on from this unfortunate episode.