Nick Green QC, Chairman of the Bar, said: “I am very pleased with this outcome and enormously grateful to the members of the Working Party for helping us to achieve this result.” BSB board members have also approved the plans. Legal regulators have until the end of April to satisfy the Legal Services Board (“LSB”) that they have ensured sufficient independence from the representative arms of their professional bodies. Regulatory independence is a requirement on all approved regulators, under the LSB’s internal governance rules. The BSB aims to have a lay majority on its board by 2012, and will achieve this on an incremental basis by appointing laypersons when barrister members complete their three-year terms of office. 

Baroness Deech, Chairman of the BSB, said: “The agreement by the Bar Council to a separate constitution is a significant development in the evolution of the Bar.  “It marks an acceptance throughout the profession that regulation is necessary and should be close to the profession though independent from it. This step demonstrates the Bar Council’s understanding of the important role the regulatory arm is playing in the future of the Bar.  “The creation of the new constitutional position reflects a good working relationship between the Bar Council and BSB with independence and cooperation at appropriate levels. Tribute must be paid to the current and past Chairmen of the Bar who have overseen the emergence of the regulatory arm: Stephen Hockman QC, The Hon Mr Justice Vos QC, Timothy Dutton QC, Desmond Browne QC and the current Bar Chairman, Nick Green QC.”