Bar Chairman calls for Bar to modernise

THE Chairman of the Bar, Nicholas Green QC, has called for the Bar to continue to modernise as it enters a new era of legal services provision. Speaking at a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Legal and Constitutional Affairs in the House of Lords, Nick Green QC will set out the challenges facing the Bar following the implementation of the Legal Services Act and outlined how the Bar is responding. The meeting, entitled The Legal Services Act: Opportunities for Consumers and Professionals, was chaired by Lord Brennan QC. David Edmonds, the Chairman of the Legal Services Board, and Bob Heslett, the President of the Law Society, addressed the group alongside Nicholas Green QC.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Chairman of the Bar, Nicholas Green QC said:

‘The Bar Standards Board took a historic decision in November 2009 to change the Bar’s practice rules. If these changes are approved by the Legal Services Board, barristers could take advantage of new structures to deliver specialist advisory and advocacy services and to work in partnership with other providers of legal services. The Bar is currently facing huge regulatory as well as market
challenges. In order to continue to provide services which clients and consumers continue to need, the Bar needs to adapt its business model and consider new ways of working. I am confident we can do this. Indeed, it is clear to me that many Chambers are already well advanced in their plans for change. The Bar Council has been running a series of nationwide road shows about the future of the profession in the new regulatory environment. Taking account of the feedback we have received from practitioners up and down the country, we expect shortly to provide guidance on options for change for Chambers to consider and adapt as they see fit to suit their own needs and circumstances.The feedback we have receiving from the profession has been enormously positive. It is clear that many barristers, particularly those with publicly funded practices which are under considerable financial pressure from planned cuts in legal aid, are eager to develop their business models. Many chambers are developing innovative new models of practice.’