The timetable for advocates to register for the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates has been thrown into chaos as a result of the continuing judicial review of its legality. Meanwhile, the Bar Standards Board has begun the search for a new chair.
More chambers have come out in open criticism of the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) and Bar Council’s deal with the government over legal aid last week. Meanwhile, the BSB is consulting on whether a fee cut by the Legal Aid Agency should no longer automatically entitle a barrister to return instructions.
A tiny number of criminal advocates has so far signed up to the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA), suggesting a profession-wide boycott of the scheme is holding.
The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal has condemned the recent Legal Services Board recommendation of a civil standard of proof for use across disciplinary tribunals as “looking like a small tail wagging a large dog”.
Three-quarters of the recommendations made by the 2012 Browne report into the disciplinary regime for barristers – sparked by irregularities over appointments to the disciplinary panels – have so far been implemented, according to a Bar Standards Board report.
The sanctions and appeals regimes of the frontline regulators are an inconsistent “jumble” of different powers that may protect lawyers rather than consumers, according to the Legal Services Board.
Statutory guidance that requires legal regulators to move away from assuming would-be lawyers have to spend a certain amount of time training before they qualify was published yesterday by the Legal Services Board.
The frontline regulators will be required to have lay chairs in future after the Legal Services Board (LSB) pressed ahead with its controversial change to the internal governance rules.
Comments made by the new Bar Council chairman in an interview with Legal Futures have led the Legal Services Board to doubt whether the Bar Council truly accepted the recent findings that it improperly influenced its regulatory arm.
The Bar Standards Board is set to introduce a series of measures to improve diversity reporting among barristers after the vast majority refused to answer many of the questions posed about their backgrounds.