16 August 2018

Code amendments 2011

 

Amendments to references to authorised body in the Practising Certificate Rules and a minor amendment to rule 5

 

Minor amendments to references to authorised body in the Practising Certificate Rules and an amendment to rule 5 to clarify that an application for a practising certificate will only be fully made if the relevant documents and the relevant practising certificate fee has been recovered by the BSB.

Please click here for details of the amendments.

These amendments came into effect on 21 December 2011. Read the LSB exemption direction here.

 

 

Authorisation to Practise

 

At its meeting on 13 July 2011 the Board approved rules for a new authorisation to practise regime. The new rules modernise the authorisation process for the issue and renewal of practising certificates and bring the arrangements into compliance with the Legal Services Act 2007.

During the new process barristers will be asked to:

 

  •         Verify their current contact details
  •         Verify their practising status and entitlement to exercise reserved legal activities
  •         Confirm whether they have completed the requisite continuing professional development activity
  •         Declare that they have obtained and paid for adequate indemnity        insurance
  •         Pay for their practising certificate fee; and
  •         Sign a declaration of truth

  The renewal will be completed via a quick and easy online system, and chambers and employers will be able to apply for block authorisation.

The majority of amendments will be in effect by 1 April 2012. 

Read the LSB decision notice here

 

 

Solicitors without practising certificates - amendment to the definition of 'professional client' in Part X

 

At its meeting on 16 June 2011, the Bar Standards Board agreed an amendment to the definition of 'professional client' in Part X of the Code of Conduct, to clarify that barristers may only accept instructions from solicitors with current practising certificates.

The amendment came into effect on 2 August 2011.

Please click here for details of the amendments.

Read the LSB exemption direction here.

 

 

Changes to rule 807 in Part VIII and the definition of 'legal advice centres' in Part X

 

At its meeting on 28 April 2011, the Board agreed to make the following amendments to the Code of Conduct.


1) An amendment to rule 807 in light of s194 Legal Services Act 2007 that allows for pro bono costs orders to be paid to prescribed charities (such as the Access to Justice Foundation).
2) An amendment to the definition of Legal Advice Centres in Part X of the Code of Conduct to reflect the fact that waivers are now granted by the Solicitors Regulation Authority rather than the Law Society.
3) An amendment to the definition of Legal Advice Centres in Part X of the Code which currently refers to the Employed Solicitors' Code 1990; this has now been repealed and replaced by the Solicitors' Code of Conduct 2007.

The amendments came into effect on 25 May 2011.

Please click here for details of the amendments.

Read the LSB exemption direction here.

 

 

Barrister participation in alternative business structures 

 

On 28 April 2011, the Board decided that barristers should be permitted to practice as managers or employees of Alternative Business Structures (ABSs) regulated by other Approved Regulators when Part 5 of the Legal Services Act 2007 comes into force. To facilitate this, two new definitions, authorised body and licensed body, have been added to Part X of the Code and the term recognised body has been replaced by the term authorised body wherever it appears in the main body of the code, except for in rule 209.
 
The Board also decided that barristers will be permitted to hold ownership interests in Alternative Business Structures subject to the development of rules and guidance on managing any resulting conflicts of interest. The rules and guidance in relation to ownership interests will be considered by the Board later this year and will form the subject of a separate application to the Legal Services Board. We hope to make a separate application regarding ownership interests to the LSB prior to December 2011.
 
The amendments came into effect on 24 August 2011.

Read the LSB decision notice here.

 

Amendments to the Bar Training Regulations and Annex R of the Code of Conduct

 

At its meeting on 17th March 2011, the Board approved amendments to the Bar Training Regulations (BTRs) and the Code of Conduct to accommodate a number of minor changes to the Academic, Vocational and Pupillage Stages of training, as part of the implementation of the reviews of those stages of training (2008-10). Details of the amendments are as follows:

 

1)    Passim - Change of name of the "Bar Vocational Course" to the "Bar Professional  Training Course"

2)    BTR12 and Schedule A - regarding time limits for commencing the Bar Course

3)    BTR21 - Removal of the minimum length for a Qualifying Degree and for a Qualifying Law Degree

4)    BTR 31 - allowing a pupil to undertake pupillage in any Member State

5)    BTR 37 - allowing discretion to change guidelines for an Approved Training Organisation

6)    BTR 62 - regarding Inns‟ Qualifying Sessions for Specially Qualified Applicants

7)    BTRs Schedule C - allowing the BSB discretion to reject the nomination of a supervisor

8)    Code of Conduct Annex R - raising of the minimum amount of the pupillage award from £10,000 to £12,000 a year

These amendments came into effect on 25th May 2011.

Read the LSB Decision notice here

 

 

Changes to rules 203.1 and 401(a)

 

At its meeting on 16 December 2010, the Board agreed to amend Rule 203.1 and Rule 401(a) of the Code of Conduct.

The amendment to Rule 203.1 clarifies that if a barrister is of less than three years standing and is practising in a dual capacity, a qualified person should be available to supervise them at their principal place of business in each capacity.

The amendment to Rule 401(a) will allow a self-employed barrister to supply legal services if instructed by a "Court" ("Court" as defined in Part X of the Bar Code of Conduct).

The amendments came into effect on 25 January 2011.

Read the LSB decision notice here.

 

Changes to the Interim Suspension Rules - Annexe N

 

At its meeting on 18 November 2010, the Board agreed to amend the Interim Suspension Rules in Annexe N to the Code. The amendments to the Annexe are limited to the removal of the Commissioner's power to refer barristers to an Interim Suspension panel, updating the Rules to bring them in line with the Disciplinary Regulations, as well as the revised terminology.

The amendments came into effect on 1 January 2011.

Please click here for details of the amendments.

Read the LSB decision notice here.

 

Changes to the Fitness to Practise Rules - Annexe O

 

At its meeting on 18 November 2010, the Board agreed to amend the Fitness to Practise Rules in Annexe O to the Code. The amendments to the Fitness to Practise Rules, in the main, consist of replacing the Commissioner's powers to refer cases to Fitness to Practise panels with Committee powers to do so. As well as updating terminology used in the Rules, the word "defendant" has been replaced with "barrister", given that the Fitness Practise process is not disciplinary in nature.

The amendments came into effect on 1 January 2011.

Please click here for details of the amendments.

Read the LSB decision notice here.

 

Changes to the Complaints Rules - Annexe J

 

At its meeting on 18 November 2010, the Board agreed to amendments to the Complaints Rules ("the Rules"), which appear at Annexe J of the Code. The Rules have been revised substantially as a result of the transfer, on 6 October 2010, of the BSB's jurisdiction over "service" complaints to the Legal Ombudsman.  All references to "inadequate professional service", and any functions or powers related to such complaints, have also been removed; as at 6 October 2010, the Rules contained transitional provisions to cover referral of lay client complaints to the Legal Ombudsman (Rule 14).


The BSB has until 31 March 2011 to determine IPS complaints received prior to 6 October 2010. As a result, the Rules give the BSB interim powers to deal with such complaints between between 1 January and 31 March 2011 (Rule 8 and Schedule 2).


The Complaints Commissioner's role in determining complaints has been removed, and all decisions making powers are now vested in the Complaints Committee. Under Rule 4 of the Complaints Rules 2011, authority will be given by the Committee to staff members of the Professional Conduct Department, and to certain Committee members and groups of the Committee, to take decisions on complaints.


The Rules further clarify the "test" to be applied when deciding whether a complaint should be referred to disciplinary action; the "prima facie" test has been replaced with "a realistic prospect of a finding professional misconduct being made against a barrister". Criteria for accepting complaints submitted outside the 12 month time limit have also been revised.

The amendments came into effect on 1 January 2011.

Please click here for details of the amendments.

Read the LSB decision notice here.