The BSB is concerned that changes to the business structures through which barristers provide services could undermine regulatory objectives. It has commissioned independent research into the eff ects of allowing barristers to practise as ABS managers, and will make its decision on regulation in November.

In a sharp retort, however, a LSB spokesperson said: “It’s no longer the time to continue having sterile debates about ‘if ’. “Debate around the need to remove the anti-competitive elements of the Bar’s regulatory regime has been ongoing for at least a decade. We will continue to work directly with approved regulators, with the numerous lawyers who speak to us directly, and with consumers, on the questions surrounding regulatory reform, including the removal of unnecessary restrictions on the provision of legal services.”