17 July 2012

BSB Chair comments on strength of BSB’s performance as a competent and transparent regulator

Baroness Ruth Deech, Chair of the Bar Standards Board, said:

"As a competent, transparent and public interest regulator, the Bar Standards Board continues to promote and uphold the highest regulatory standards. We pride ourselves on the fact that we operate in an open and transparent manner, and our disciplinary processes serve to underline the fact that we take complaints by the public of professional misconduct extremely seriously.

"We are continually refining and improving our processes, especially in the light of the scale of change which the legal profession is currently undergoing, and we are making excellent progress. We have been particularly heartened by recent developments on COIC, which allows us to look more closely at our options for the administration of our disciplinary system, currently under active consideration."

Baroness Deech's comments follow a press report which aired criticism of the way in which the Bar Standards Board has handled its regulatory processes.

"Independent scrutiny has attested to our openness and transparency. As an organisation, we continually work to ensure that we meet regulatory best practice standards."

Notes:

1. In 2010 there were 15,837 practising barristers. 438 of them were subject to complaints, which amounts to 2.85% of the practising Bar. Of those, 107 were subject to disciplinary proceedings - or 0.70%.

2. In 2011, there were 15,581 practising barristers and 529 were subject to complaints, being 3.40% of the practising Bar. Of those, 141 were subject to disciplinary proceedings or 0.90%.