23 September 2019

Our new strategy for 2016-19: what it means for you

These are uncertain times for everyone involved in legal services.

We fully understand that many barristers are having to deal with competing challenges from a wide variety of sources. These include commercial pressures from a wide range of regulated - and unregulated - providers, dealing with the ongoing effects of cuts to legal aid, and preparing to adapt to proposed technological changes to the court system. We are facing similarly significant challenges, including an imminent government consultation on the future of legal services regulation and a study by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

It is in the face of these circumstances, that we have recently published our new three-year Strategic Plan. Given all of the above, the need for ensuring value for money has been paramount. The plan confirms that our direct operating costs will reduce by four per cent in 2016-17 and we have made a commitment to keep these costs at this reduced baseline for at least the duration of the plan.

By taking a risk-based approach to regulation, we can target our resources to the areas where we can make a difference.

With this in mind, Our Strategic Plan describes three strategic aims. You can read more about these aims on our website. They are:

  1. Regulating in the public interest;
  2. Supporting those the BSB regulates to face the future; and
  3. Being a strong and sustainable regulator.

Our approach when preparing the new Strategic Plan has been to identify three priority areas in relation to what we consider as the biggest risks to our regulatory objectives.

The three risk themes are discussed in more detail in our Risk Outlook. The themes concern our work as the regulator to help the profession meet consumer needs, to help barristers to respond to commercial pressures (where it is in the public interest to do so), and to address the lack of diversity in the profession by enhancing equality.

The next few years will be pivotal in ensuring that the market for barristers' services is sustainable in the long term and exists in a way that everyone can access it fairly. We will continue to work to ensure the public has confidence in the Bar, that it is upholding the rule of law and providing genuine access to justice for all.

To find out more, you can read our full strategic plan on our website.

We have also recently published our annual Business Plan for 2016-17 which you can also read on our website.