21 September 2019

Dissolution of our Qualifications Committee

We receive a large number of applications for authorisation under, and waivers from provisions of, the BSB Handbook. These include applications from transferring qualified lawyers, applications for a reduction in pupillage, applications for authorisation to conduct litigation and applications for licensed access. Historically, most of these applications have been considered by our Qualifications Committee and its panels, although the Committee has been gradually delegating its first-instance decision-making powers to staff over the last couple of years.

The Qualifications Committee was dissolved on 31 August 2017. From 1 September 2017, all first instance decisions will be taken by trained staff. Also from 1 September 2017, all applications for review of first-instance decisions, as well as other applications for review previously considered by the Qualifications Committee, such as applications for review of decisions of the Inns Conduct Committee, will be considered by new review panels, made up of both barrister and lay members. 

We have recently recruited two new members of our Advisory Pool of Experts to assist staff making decisions and eight review panel members - five lay people and three barristers - who will sit as panels of three.