BSB and Barristers in business

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has confirmed it will regulate advocacy-focused Alternative Business Structures (ABS), Legal Disciplinary Practices (LDPs) and barrister-only entities, but not multi-disciplinary practices.

The BSB said entities under its regulatory control would not be able to hold client money or have external ownership but would be free to apply to conduct litigation.

Owners of BSB-regulated entities must be managers, and there will be a 25 per cent limit on non-lawyer ownership or management. A majority of the owners and managers must be barristers or advocates with higher rights of audience.

Barristers will be free to practise as managers or employees of ABS under other regulators, and to have ownership interests in ABS subject to rules regarding conflicts of interest. All managers of BSB regulated entities (barristers, solicitors and non-lawyers) will be subject to the same conduct rules.

The BSB will now develop a regulatory framework, draft rules and options, before launching a consultation on the proposed changes in the autumn.

Further details are to be found in Professional Update.