21 September 2019

BSB Handbook Explained

Are you a practising barrister who has not worked with a "qualified person" for three years?

If so, you are probably under three "years' standing" and the three year rule (rS20 - rS22 in the BSB Handbook) applies to you. This means that you must have an appropriate "qualified person" to undertake each of the following activities:

  • Exercising rights of audience;
  • Supplying legal services to the public;
  • Conducting litigation; and/or
  • Undertaking Public Access work (rC121.1 in the BSB Handbook).

The same person may act as a "qualified person" for different activities, as long as they meet the requirements set out for each in the Handbook at rS22. You must have the appropriate "qualified person(s)" at your main place of practice or (if you are practising in a dual capacity, ie both self-employed and employed) each of your main places of practice. Your "qualified person(s)" must be readily available to provide guidance to you.

If you are an employed barrister in a non-authorised body and you are only exercising rights of audience or conducting litigation for those persons listed at rS39.1 - .6 of the BSB Handbook, you will only require a "qualified person" if you are under one year's standing.

You must inform the Bar Council Records Office of any changes to your "qualified person(s)".

If you wish to apply for a waiver from the three year rule, please contact the BSB Qualifications Team.