22 April 2018

BSB response to the Legal Services Board’s decision on lay chairs for regulators

20 February 2014

Director of the Bar Standards Board, Dr Vanessa Davies said:

"The BSB's response to the LSB consultation was clear: Chairs of regulatory Boards should be appointed on merit. For us, what matters most is that the right calibre of person, with sufficient expertise, is appointed to this challenging role. The LSB's decision is based on an assumption that lay chairs will behave independently in circumstances where legally qualified chairs would not, and we believe there is little evidence to support this conclusion. The Chairs of many comparable regulatory bodies are not lay persons. The BSB has had a lay majority since January 2012 and is committed to keeping this. It currently appoints its Chair on merit, without reference to the need to hold or not to hold a legal qualification.

"We note a further consultation on appointment processes has now also been issued. Our initial view is that the LSB's proposals would have limited impact on the BSB as we already control the appointment process and delegate the decision to an independent appointments panel - and have done so for some time."

ENDS


Notes to editors
The BSB's Response to the Legal Services Board's consultation "Chairs of Regulatory Boards" can be found here: http://bit.ly/McQpTd

Our Board is made up of 15 people, a combination of lay people and barristers. The Board has had a lay majority since January 2012.

About the Bar Standards Board
Our mission is to regulate the Bar so as to promote high standards of practice and safeguard clients and the public interest. For more information about what we do visit: http://bit.ly/1gwui8t

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