Mixed response to LSB’s plan for regulatory overhaul, with Falconer calling for focus on unmet legal need instead
Reactions from key legal services industry bodies to the Legal Services Board’s blueprint for radical form of legal regulation have ranged from enthusiastic welcome to anger at its timing, while the politician who introduced the Legal Services Act 2007 said tackling unmet legal need was more of a priority.
The Bar Council has slammed the Bar Standards Board’s forthcoming continuing professional development regime as being burdensome, complicated, unfit for purpose, and involving “pointless” self-assessment. It warned that the scheme would lead to “many practitioners” being “likely to fail in their compliance”.
A leading white collar crime barrister said this week that he may conduct straightforward litigation through his new Bar Standards Board-authorised entity. Bright Line Law, launched this week, is the brainchild of Jonathan Fisher QC and was devised in part as an attempt to bring together the various strands of his activities.
Freeing up the rules on licensing alternative business structures will help the Solicitors Regulation Authority deal with more complex applications, such as those from businesses that form part of a group or have private equity investment, it has told the government.
Almost half of female barristers have experienced discrimination at work and 40% have experienced harassment, a major report by the Bar Standards Board has found. Dr Vanessa Davies, director general of the BSB, described the findings as “very disappointing”.
A barrister who overturned his disbarment at the Court of Appeal last year has been disbarred again. Damian McCarthy was found by a Bar disciplinary tribunal to have forged client care letters, after a direct access client complained.
A barrister turned solicitor has been disbarred 10 years after he was struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. He did not tell the Bar about the decision and the Bar Standards Board only became aware of it last year when Lloyd Aneke applied for restoration to the roll of solicitors.
The Court of Appeal has upheld a ruling that a barrister who successfully defended herself in disciplinary proceedings should not be paid costs at the £120 hourly rate allowed by a tribunal-appointed assessor. But it upheld the basic principle that barristers in such situations can claim their costs at a rate higher than that of a normal litigant-in-person.
The High Court has thrown out two appeals against Bar disciplinary tribunal decisions by “named and shamed” barrister Tariq Rehman. It has also refused permission for him to proceed with two judicial reviews and had no truck with the arguments he put forward.
Large numbers of barristers’ chambers are flouting an obligation to publish diversity data and the Bar Standards Board has been “unsophisticated” in its implementation of Legal Services Board diversity rules, a significant study has concluded.