15 September 2019

Blog: Monthly message from our Chair, Baroness Blackstone

We know that more of you are reading these monthly Regulatory Update emails from your mobile devices so we are trialling a new way for you to access our important regulatory messages in an attempt to make things easier for you. This is a shorter  email in which I have highlighted the key regulatory updates below and provided links for you to read more on our website. 

We published a report which we jointly commissioned with the Solicitors Regulation Authority looking at the judiciary's perceptions of criminal advocacy standards. This found that judges find the quality of advocacy which they experience in the criminal courts to be generally competent and sometimes very good. But they also acknowledged that some of the pressures on criminal advocates - not least current financial pressures - do threaten the quality of advocacy and that there are also some examples of poor performance. Read more on our website.

We also published research about the effectiveness of our rules that require barristers with less than three years' standing to have readily available access to an experienced Qualified Person (QP) for support and guidance. The research suggests that the level of support made available to newly qualified barristers by QPs varies considerably and that this influences how positively new practitioners think about the requirement within our rules. Read more on our website

Further to our decision last year not to implement the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates, we published more information explaining how we assure competence at the Bar by taking a targeted and proportionate approach to the way in which we regulate. Read more online.

Finally, in response to one of the Competition and Market Authority's recommendations, we published new guidance about engaging with client feedback. It was developed with input from barristers and is designed to encourage you to follow good practice whenever you receive either positive or negative feedback from your clients. We also offered guidance to consumers on how to leave and use feedback.  You can read more about this new guidance on our website.