23 September 2019

Blog: Monthly message from our Chair Sir Andrew Burns KCMG

There is a lot of important news in this Update. Do please read to the end.

As I forecast last month, we have recently published policy consultations on two very important topics.

The first contains our proposed approach for ensuring that the Competition and Market Authority's (CMA's) recommendations for greater transparency about service, price and consumer redress for all lawyers are reflected in our regulations for the Bar. The second concerns some proposed updates to our regulations governing parts of the education and training system for prospective barristers. It includes a review of the rules about pupillage.

There is further information about both of these consultations elsewhere in this edition of Regulatory Update, and you can read the full consultation papers on our website.

I would like to stress how important it to us for us to hear your views on both of these subjects.  For example, are our proposals for publishing information about fees sensible, should we allow more flexibility in the rules governing pupillage, should there be any change to the role of the Inns of Court in training barristers?   We should very much appreciate your views on all these important questions.

We are open-minded about all these questions, as we are for the other issues that we discuss in the consultation papers. Now is your opportunity to share your views with us. There are many important questions posed within the two papers. Nothing is yet set in stone.

To make it easier for you to share your views with us, we have been in contact with all of the circuit leaders with a view to holding meetings around the country in which we can outline our proposals to you, and where we can listen to your thoughts about them. We will also be holding meetings in London as well as online webinars, so there should be plenty of opportunity for you to have your say. More details about these events - including locations, dates and times - will be published on our website very soon.

I should add that we are providing similar engagement opportunities for the other stakeholders in these topics too, for example, legal consumer organisations and (for the training consultation) education and training providers.

All of your views will be considered when the Board determines final policy in these areas next year. We look forward to hearing from you over the coming months.