20 May 2018

Bar Standards Board statement on QASA following latest Court of Appeal decision

15 May 2014

Following the judicial review of the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA), the Claimants were last week granted leave to appeal the original decision, on all grounds. The appeal hearing will be expedited and we understand that a date is likely to be set for mid-July.

In the meantime, the Court of Appeal has ordered the following aspects of the Scheme to be stayed until the outcome of the appeal is known:

  • The compulsory registration of advocates who would register at level two - as a trial advocate - or above; and 
  • The judicial evaluation of advocates in trials. 

The Order allows the compulsory registration and accreditation of those who would register at level one, or at level two as a non-trial advocate, to proceed if the frontline regulators wish to do so. The regulators may proceed with background work to be ready for the Scheme in due course, and compulsory assessment - via assessment centres - of advocates who have or would have registered at level two as a non-trial advocate can continue, if the regulators wish.

Any advocates who have already registered under the Scheme will remain registered until further notice.

The voluntary registration of advocates who would register at level two as a trial advocate, level three, or level four can also continue.

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has already decided to suspend phased geographical registration in the Scheme and, whilst we will continue to work with the Joint Advocacy Group to be ready for implementation, we will not be requiring barristers who may have sought to be assessed as non-trial advocates at an assessment centre to do so until further notice.

Finally, the Court also made a new Protective Costs Order (PCO). This applies reciprocally to the Legal Services Board and theBSB, and the Claimants, and is capped at £65,000. The Claimants have been granted time-limited leave to apply to vary the terms of the PCO, until 16.00 on 23 May 2014.

ENDS

Notes to editors

A more detailed breakdown of the different levels within the Scheme can be found on page 28 of the QASA Handbook.

Contact: for media enquiries please call 0207 6111 452 (07432 713 328 outside of normal working hours) or email EGrant@barstandardsboard.org.uk.