17 September 2019

Risk-based approach to regulating the Bar: the regulator publishes its Framework, Index and Outlook

5 April 2016

The BSB is today publishing three documents about its approach to risk-based regulation:

  • the Risk Frameworkdescribes the BSB's general approach to identifying and managing risks in the legal system;
  • the Risk Indexcategorises those risks; and
  • the Risk Outlookprioritises three risk themes which we think should be the current focus of our regulatory attention.

These documents also complement the approach set out in our 2016-19 Strategic Plan.

All of these documents are available on our website.

The publication of the BSB's Risk Framework, Index and Outlook marks the first time the regulator has publicly defined the risks to fulfilling its regulatory objectives, which are set out in the Legal Services Act 2007.

As a risk-based regulator, the BSB will focus its resources where the most value is added for consumers and the public interest. This helps to ensure that our regulation is proportionate and targeted. In the Risk Outlook we explore risks in three important areas:

  • Failure to meet consumer needs
  • Lack of diversity in the profession and discriminatory working culture and practices
  • Commercial and financial pressures on providers

The purpose of the Risk Outlook is:

  • To guide the development and prioritisation of our regulatory activities;
  • To share insights and expertise concerning areas of significant risk; and
  • To support the BSB's ongoing engagement with our stakeholders.

BSB Chair Sir Andrew Burns said: "The BSB's first Risk Outlook shows that we have considered the regulatory landscape thoroughly and we will continue to do so, so that we are focusing our attention where we can add the most value.

"The Risk Outlook confirms our commitment to regulating in the public interest by recognising that the profession needs to meet consumer need, to address diversity issues and respond to commercial pressures. We are serious about addressing these risks to the regulatory objectives.

"The Risk Outlook is by no means a static document. We want to nurture and continue a dialogue with all stakeholders as the legal market continues to evolve."

The Risk Framework is available here.

The Risk Index is available here.

The Risk Outlook is available here.


Notes to editors

About the Bar Standards Board

Our mission is to regulate the Bar so as to promote high standards of practice and safeguard clients and the public interest. For more information about what we do visit: http://bit.ly/1gwui8t

About the BSB's regulatory objectives

The BSB's regulatory objectives as set out on in the Legal Services Act 2007 are as follows:

  • Protecting and promoting the public interest
  • Supporting the constitutional principle of the rule of law
  • Improving access to justice
  • Protecting and promoting the interests of consumers
  • Promoting competition in the provision of services
  • Encouraging an independent, strong, diverse and effective legal profession
  • Public understanding of citizens' legal rights and duties
  • Promoting and maintaining adherence to the professional principles

Contact: For all media enquiries call: 0207 611 1452 or email press@barstandardsboard.org.uk.