LSB reveals “stream of disagreements” as it begins review of regulatory independence rules

Neil Buckley

A “steady stream of disagreements” between legal regulators and representative bodies means the rules governing their relationships may need to be rewritten, the Legal Services Board said yesterday. The oversight regulator said it had been notified of 30 disputes over the past three years.

November 10th, 2017

Munby sets aside divorce petitions because of fraud by disbarred barrister

Sir James Munby

The president of the Family Division has set aside 21 fraudulent divorce petitions produced by a disbarred barrister. Sir James Munby found that, in each case, the underlying proceedings were “tainted by deception”. The applications were made by the Queen’s Proctor – an official of the Crown able to intervene in divorce and probate cases.

November 9th, 2017

Bar recognises wellbeing pioneers as CBA warns of “crisis” among criminal barristers

Sarah Vine

The Bar Council has issued its first series of certificates to recognise efforts made to support the wellbeing of barristers, clerks and chambers’ staff. The move came as the Criminal Bar Association – itself one of the 31 chambers, inns and specialist Bar associations to receive a certificate – warned of a “crisis” in the wellbeing of its members.

November 7th, 2017

Langdon sounds warning bell over “shrinking” junior Bar

BAR Council

While the Bar continues to increase in size, the junior Bar is shrinking, in part because of competition from solicitors, the profession’s leader has warned. Bar Council chairman Andrew Langdon QC highlighted wellbeing and diversity as two further challenges to a Bar that he said was otherwise changing with the times and following the market.

November 6th, 2017

BSB presses ahead with compulsory registration of youth court barristers


The Bar Standard Board has decided to introduce compulsory registration of youth court barristers, despite fierce opposition from the Bar Council. However, it shied away from demanding compulsory training, arguing that the market for youth advocacy was too “fragile” for additional regulation.

November 1st, 2017

“Complete backing” for not extending cab-rank rule to public access work


The cab-rank rule will not be extended to public and licensed access (PLA) cases after the Bar Standards Board received complete backing for the position in consultation. Feedback has also led it to drop plans for a requirement that PLA barristers disclose of the level of their professional indemnity insurance.

October 30th, 2017

HMCTS launches new consultation on flexible court hours pilots after heeding objections


HM Courts and Tribunals Service has launched a new consultation on flexible operating hours pilots which accepts the possibility that extending the hours of courts, although desirable, might not be possible. It presented a range of options to be trialled, including double shifts and mixed Crown Court and magistrates’ court sittings.

October 26th, 2017

Suspended barrister sanctioned again for not attending court hearing


A barrister currently serving a suspension for conducting litigation without authorisation has now received a hefty fine for failing to attend an Upper Tribunal hearing without good reason. He was fined £5,000 by a Bar disciplinary tribunal – a large sum by its standards, although a tenth of the maximum it can fine – for failing to act in the best interests of his client.

October 19th, 2017

Asylum and detention specialist sets up BSB firm and law student project

Ousman Noor

A barrister whose charity, regulated as a law firm by the Bar Standards Board (BSB), was dissolved at the end of last year due to funding problems, has set up both a conventional BSB firm and a pioneering university law project to help immigration detainees.

October 17th, 2017

Bar Council say BSB registration plan risks deterring barristers from youth court work

Court building - Bradford

The Bar Council has strongly attacked a plan by the Bar Standards Board for the compulsory registration of youth court advocates, the first scheme of its type. It said the move did not address the “underlying issues of low pay and status” in the youth courts and risked deterring barristers from undertaking the work.

October 16th, 2017