The Code of Conduct forbids barristers handling client money themselves, which means barristers are reliant on solicitors to deal with the finances of cases and pay them their fee. BARCO, a limited liability company, provides escrow services to barrister and client, avoiding individual barristers handling money themselves. The company is applying to be regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
BARCO may be particularly useful for barrister-led Alternative Business Structures, whether they are regulated by the Bar Standards Board or the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and for barristers who do direct access work.
It will launch formally in 2013 after a national road show of the Bar this autumn and an initial pilot phase with 11 sets.