At its most recent Board meeting, the regulator of the Bar in England and Wales took the decision to regulate advocacy-focused Alternative Business Structures, Legal Disciplinary Practices and Barrister Only Entities, collectively referred to as ‘entities’. It will not extend its remit to regulate Multi-Disciplinary Practices.
Nichola Higgins, Chairman of the Young Barristers’ Committee, looks at the challenges facing the younger members of the Bar and how they will need to adapt to survive.
You are not alone in feeling some despair as the Ministry of Justice continues its drive to reduce the need for lawyers, to divert cases towards alternative forms of dispute resolution and reduce lawyers’ remuneration.
A review of CPD for barristers, commissioned by the Bar Standards Board and chaired by Derek Wood CBE QC, has recommended major revisions of the system.
Geoff Everett and Toby Tallon of Smith & Williamson outline the key business structures available to chambers to enable them to withstand the stormy times ahead.
Critical analysis after disaster strikes is seldom kind. As seen recently in Japan, commentators have found it all too easy to lay the blame for the aftermath of the tsunami on the inadequate plans, safety measures and management structures that were in place. A weather warning has now been issued for the UK Bar.
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.
Chief Executive and Senior Civil Clerk, 9 Gough Square Chambers
A leading common law set based in London but appearing in courts throughout England and Wales and abroad. Key practice areas are personal injury, clinical negligence, professional negligence, fraud and serious crime, family, police law, employment and property.
William Byfield, Gutteridge Chambers
To hell with slashed fees, the BSB, higher taxes, HM Government, and my client in the Claude Allerick trial! In the frozen countryside, there lurks worse.
15 January 2011:
“… look at these lonely houses, each in its own fields, filled for the most part with poor ignorant folk who know little of the law. Think of the deeds of hellish cruelty, the hidden wickedness which may go on, year in, year out, in such places, and none the wiser.”
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,
Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle
The Bar Council trips to the Gulf help open up doors that are not available to individual practitioners or chambers, writes Peter Lodder QC.
It has never been more important to find and develop new markets for the Bar. The Business Development Mission to Oman, Abu Dhabi, and Qatar – which took place between 3 and 9 December 2010 – came less than a month after the Government published its Green Paper, Proposals for the Reform of Legal Aid in England and Wales. We did not need this incentive, but it added to the significance that those who came from practice areas more readily associated with international work, were joined on this trip by criminal practitioners.
The aim of the BSB’s new chambers’ monitoring scheme is to help chambers comply with their regulatory requirements. Sam Stein QC and Oliver Hanmer talk to David Wurtzel about the issues raised so far.
Sam Stein QC, Chairman of the Quality Assurance Committee of the Bar Standards Board (“BSB”) since January 2010, sees his role as one in which he is helping the Bar by enabling it to comply with the world of modern regulation.
Every set of barristers’ chambers would need to gather and publish statistics on the diversity of their members and staff, under new Legal Services Board (“LSB”) proposals.
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Making a move from the Bar to a career in governance: Maria Brookes outlines three good reasons to switch and how to do it
The barrister-author talks to Chris Henley QC about the parallels between farming and farmers, and the law and barristers, and the dilemmas of combining young children with continued practice at the Bar
Permitting vulnerable people to be heard is a difficult role, but I have so much joy from it. Mary Prior QC shares life lessons with Aadhithya Anbahan
If the Bar is complacent on the issue of race, then we will perpetuate the same racial inequities that continue to pervade our society, writes Professor Leslie Thomas QC
Tim Prudhoe's lessons learnt: as the scope increases for working overseas, here's some advice on how to build the foundations for an international practice (and not upset the local Bar)