21 September 2019

Blog: Monthly message from our Chair, Baroness Blackstone

Let me begin by wishing you all a very happy new year. 

In this first edition of Regulatory Update in 2019, we include information about the research we conducted last year into the way in which pupillages are advertised and the selection criteria used by those recruiting pupils. The research has helped us identify good pupillage recruitment practice at the Bar for a new set of guidance that we aim to publish soon.

With the new Bar training rules expected to come into force soon, once they have been approved by the Legal Services Board, 2019 is set to be a year in which we implement and consolidate recent reforms rather than proposing many more policy changes. Please keep abreast of the various changes coming into force by keeping a watchful eye on these monthly Regulatory Update emails. You can also follow us on Twitter.

We have published a new version of the Handbook making a number of changes which are designed to clarify existing policy and practice.  Most importantly, we have amended the wording of Core Duty 3 and some consequential Rules and guidance to read that "you must act with honesty, and with integrity" to make clear that a failure to act without either honesty or integrity is a breach of the Code.  Other amendments relate to the handling of client money, the status of unregistered barristers, the holding of data by public access barristers and the definition of a "lay person".

We also plan to introduce new rules soon to improve transparency standards for clients of the Bar in relation to information about the services provided by barristers, what those services cost and a client's right to redress. This follows the responses we received to our recent consultation which my Board and I are due to consider later this month. I expect to update you about this next month and to provide further information on what you must do to comply with the new rules when they come into force.

Finally for this month, I would like to welcome Irena Sabic who joins the Board this month as one of our barrister members.