Chambers

Chambers monitoring pilot

<p>The Bar Standards Board has published the final report on its chambers monitoring pilot scheme. The Board has committed to developing a quality assurance scheme to monitor compliance by chambers with the Code of Conduct. The pilot scheme tested the proposed approach to chambers monitoring and ran from June until November 2008. It involved a representative sample of 35 sets of chambers and focussed on compliance requirements in respect of chambers complaints handling, pupillage and equality and diversity. </p> <p>The headlines from the report are: </p> <ul></ul><li>The development of a self-regulation system which is robust and credible is critical to the profession to protect and maintain its<br />reputation and also the reputation of the Board as a regulator;  </li> <li>Of those Chambers in the pilot scheme there was only low level evidence of non-compliance and a significant amount of good practice in Chambers was identified. This is encouraging and supports a light touch approach but is no reason to be complacent; </li> <li>Any scheme needs to carry the confidence of the profession. Encouragingly, the large majority of Chambers in the pilot scheme were receptive to the idea of some monitoring of Chambers by the Board, but engagement with the whole profession on the purpose and motives of the scheme is crucial to ensure wholehearted acceptance; </li> <li>Chambers must be clear about what is expected of their policies and procedures in order to comply with the Code requirements. This was not always the case for those Chambers in the pilot scheme, particularly in respect of the requirements relating to equality and diversity. Model procedures and policies should therefore be developed to assist Chambers in this regard;  </li> <li> </li>Any efficient monitoring system must be supported by an increasingly sophisticated and robust IT system which draws information from existing databases into a central point so that risk assessment and analysis can be carried out;
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Advisory Panel: recruiting 2009 membership

<p>Panel membership will entail being part of a network of individuals (10 approx) with the relevant experience who will share views, perspectives and ideas relating to changing working practices at the Bar, post Legal Services Act. Commitment will be through occasional meetings (likely to be no more than 1 per month in 2009) and contributing to email/forum discussions/emails on issues derived from policy development in this area. Membership will not be remunerated, although there may also be opportunities to undertake discrete project work for which a daily rate (commensurate with seniority and experience) will be payable. </p> <p>If you are interested and would like to discuss this opportunity, in the first instance please write to Simon Garrod (020 7611 1414), Head of Professional Practice at the Bar Standards Board by 13 February 2008: Bar Standards Board, 289-293 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7HZ. DX: 240 LDE </p>
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Back Soon (2)

<p><em><strong>Chambers’ culture can make a huge difference to successful maternity leave, says Sarah Grainger.</strong> </em> </p> <p>In addition to offering generous maternity policies, the best thing a chambers can do to make retention work is to lead by example. Demonstrating that women members have taken maternity leave and returned to successful practices, and creating a culture where flexible  working is not seen as a problem, goes a long way to form an environment in which taking a maternity break can. </p>
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The Bar’s efforts to secure a diverse profession for the longterm reflected in intimate portrait of life at the Bar

<p>A major new documentary has been broadcast on BBC 2. The Barristers was an intimate portrait which details life at the Bar from aspiring barristers through to senior silks. The four-part documentary was the result of four years of collaboration between the Bar Council, the BBC and other participants in the legal system, and followed senior practitioners, as well as students, as they work their way through Bar School to a permanent position – a tenancy or employment. </p> <p>The BBC was given unprecedented access to the courts, members of the profession, the Chairman of the Bar, Circuits, Inns and law schools. The documentary showed real life at the Bar, profiling barristers working in the public interest as part of the communities they serve. The work done by the publicly-funded Bar included family barristers helping couples and children in the wake of family breakdown, and criminal barristers defending and prosecuting those accused of crime. The Bar’s work on behalf of some of the most vulnerable members of our society was clearly set out. </p>
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New BSB Chair and Vice-Chair

<p>The Bar Standards Board has announced, after open competition run by an Appointments Panel, that Baroness Ruth Deech has been appointed as the new Chair of the BSB and that Sir Geoffrey Nice QC will be the Vice-Chair. Baroness Deech has extensive experience of regulatory bodies, having served as Chairperson of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (1994-2002), a Governor of the BBC (2002-2006) and as the first Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (2004-8). She is an independent member of the House of Lords. </p> <p>Sir Geoffrey Nice QC is a senior silk with broad practice in Common Law work. He is internationally known for his work at the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague where he led the prosecution against Slobodan Milosevic. Baroness Deech and Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, will take up their posts from 1 January 2009 in succession to Ruth Evans and George Leggatt QC. </p>
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