17 September 2019

Seeking views on our draft of the new Bar transparency rules

There is still time to respond to our  consultation which seeks views about our proposed new rules to improve transparency standards for clients of the Bar.

After a period of consultation last year in response to the Competition and Markets Authority's (CMA's) market study of legal services, we published our revised approach to  improving transparency for consumers of barristers' services in February 2018. The new transparency standards relate to information about the areas of law in which barristers practise, the legal services provided by barristers, what those services cost and a client's right to redress.

Between November 2017 and February 2018, we ran a pilot scheme with nine chambers, entities and sole practitioners to test some suggested minimum disclosure requirements in order to help us finalise our rules.  An evaluation report of the pilot is published alongside our consultation. Also published was a new research report ( Summary Full Report Technical Annex) which we commissioned to explore how consumers make decisions when searching for barristers, and to test how consumers respond to different methods of presenting price and service information.

Following the completion of this consultation and approval by the Legal Services Board (LSB), these rules will come into force by May 2019. To ensure compliance with the transparency rules, we will undertake spot-checking from January 2020. The consultation closes on Friday 14 December 2018 at 5pm.