11 October 2013

Bar Standards Board Statement on costs and the judicial review of QASA

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) is aware of a number of misleading and inaccurate statements regarding the costs associated with the judicial review of the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA).

In order to address the inaccuracies and misinformation being expressed by various members of the Criminal Bar, as well as its representative bodies, the BSB would like to make clear that the Order by the Court imposed a reciprocal cost cap of £150,000.

In the event of an Order for Costs being made against the Claimants in favour of either or both the Defendant (the Legal Services Board [LSB]) and the First Interested Party (the BSB), the Claimants shall not be liable in the aggregate for costs exceeding £150,000. Those costs will be apportioned as appropriate by the Judge between the two parties.

In the event of an Order for Costs being made in favour of the Claimants against either or both the defendant (the LSB) and first interested party (the BSB), the Judge shall apportion the costs be paid, within the cap, between the LSB and the BSB.

When setting the level of the cost cap, the Court took into account the fact that the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) is supporting the Claimants' application and the opportunities available to the CBA to raise funds.

The BSB is an interested party in the proceedings. We are represented by solicitors and leading counsel. Given the nature of the submission and the status of the Claimants, the BSB is likely to be required to play a significant role in assisting the Court with information about the development of QASA. It is therefore appropriate for the BSB to be suitably represented. We anticipate our reasonable legal costs may be in the region of £100,000.

Comments that the BSB is going to spend £400-500,000 in 'defending' QASA are therefore grossly inaccurate. The BSB encourages the CBA or the Claimants to publish the Order issued by the Court in order to provide further clarity on the costs position.

ENDS

Notes to editor

Contact: the Bar Standards Board Press Office on 0207 611 1452.