17 November 2018

Consultation on entity regulation rule changes and insurance

In July 2014 the Bar Standards Board (BSB) sought views on specific aspects of its proposals for regulating entities - companies or partnerships that provide advocacy, litigation, and expert legal advice services.

In the  consultation paper, the BSB sets out plans to change the existing rules so as to introduce an initial regulatory regime for entities, in which both the entity and its non-barrister managers explicitly consent to being regulated by the BSB and bound by the BSB Handbook in a contractual relationship.

The paper also outlined various courses of action that the BSB could take in the event that a BSB-regulated entity fails, is abandoned, or engages in significant dishonesty. In such instances, the BSB will need to be able to enter the entity's premises and take control of client files if the entity and its managers are unable or unwilling to assist.

In the longer-term, the BSB will apply for secondary legislation that would give us an explicit statutory power to authorise and intervene into entities, and to discipline entities and any non-barrister managers. The BSB will be consulting separately on the proposed secondary legislation at a later date.

The consultation also contains detailed proposals for the levels and minimum terms of professional indemnity insurance that entities would be required to obtain if they are regulated by the BSB. This is to ensure that consumers have sufficient levels of protection if they are clients of a BSB-authorised entity.

The BSB held a series of consultation meetings at which barristers, consumer organisations, and interested parties could voice their views without needing to submit a full written response, if they did not want to.

The consultation closed on 5 September 2014. We received 13 responses to the consultation, which you can read on the right hand side of the page.

Read our summary report of the responses received.