21 August 2019

Blog: Monthly message from our Chair, Baroness Blackstone

Earlier this month, we published the latest version of the BSB Handbook. The new version, which you can find on our website, introduces new Authorisation to Practise requirements, streamlines the public and licensed access rules, and introduces new obligations for barristers and BSB regulated entities to comply with the new Anti-Money Laundering regulations.

These are important and necessary changes. They introduce four new reporting requirements whenever you are applying for or renewing your practising certificate. In addition to the existing reporting requirements, you will now be asked to:

  • provide information on your practice areas, including any public access work;
  • declare work that falls within the scope of the new Anti-Money Laundering Regulations;
  • register, if you work in the Youth Courts, or intend to do so; and
  • register your MyBar account with a unique email address to help us to communicate with you more securely and effectively.

You can read more about the new Anti-Money Laundering Regulations and our new requirement to register your Youth Court work with us in this edition of Regulatory Update. We do try to minimise the burden that our regulations impose but we are convinced that every one of these new disclosure requirements is essential and will help us to regulate the profession better. They were also of course the subject of a consultation that we ran last year, and the inclusion of them in the latest edition of the BSB Handbook follows the subsequent approval of the new rules by the Legal Services Board.

Pending the approval of the Legal Services Board for their removal, the rules concerning the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) remain in the Handbook but the BSB has made clear that this Scheme will not now be implemented.

With our annual Authorisation to Practise window to renew your practising certificate due to open soon, I hope that you will find our new MyBar portal in association with the Bar Council, helpful and easy to use when you renew your certificate.

Tessa Blackstone