15 September 2019

Blog: Monthly message from our Chair Sir Andrew Burns KCMG

Last month, we published an updated version of our Professional Statement for barristers. This sets out the skills, knowledge and attributes which barristers are expected to have on "day one" of being issued with a practising certificate. An example of one of the many requirements contained within the Professional Statement is a need to be aware of the wide range of organisations supporting the administration of justice and their respective roles in providing advice and funding to clients.

We recently held a social mobility roundtable in relation to our consultation on Future Bar Training. We had a fantastic response from leading academics and institutions, including The Sutton Trust and the Social Mobility Foundation, to explore our proposed approaches to future training. It confirmed the important work that organisations such as The Sutton Trust do in this regard. A good example of this is their Pathways to Law programme.

We are pleased to see that so many of you have, or are about to attend our CPD workshops around the Circuits, which started this month. We are giving you the chance to hear about the new scheme and how we are putting professional development back into your hands.

We are also attending the Annual Bar and Young Bar Conference where we are holding a session on Alternative Business Structures (ABSs). Such opportunities (and their perceived challenges) was a theme at the International Conference of Legal Regulators in Washington DC, which I attended with our Director General, Dr Vanessa Davies in September. There was discussion too about the application of technology within regulatory work - The Lord Chancellor, Lord Chief Justice, and the Senior President of Tribunals' consultation on transforming our justice system is timely.

We are in the second phase of recruiting experts from the Bar to aid our policy work here at the BSB. We hope to set an example by working with a diverse range of individuals and organisations to improve access to justice for all legal services consumers.