14 October 2019

Chambers: deadline for Impact Audit survey extended to 1 May

28 April 2014

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has extended the deadline for chambers to return their Impact Audit survey to 1 May 2014. The survey should be very quick to complete and over 550 chambers have already returned theirs.

All chambers, including sole practitioners, must complete the survey. Failure to do so could lead to disciplinary action being pursued.

The survey is a key part of the BSB's new risk-based supervision strategy. Under the new system, the BSB will assess how effectively chambers and sole practitioners are managing potential risks - like breaches of confidentiality or poor keeping of financial records - and the impact that these risks, left unattended, could have on the public.

Those chambers that are seen to be managing risks less effectively will receive more supervisory support. Leaving those with robust policies and procedures largely to "get on with it" will mean the BSB is free to concentrate its efforts on the minority of chambers at risk of harming the public.

The Impact Audit survey is designed to help the BSB establish the impact that any potential breach of the regulatory rules would have on clients and consumers. This will essentially be a measure of how serious the consequences could be if risks were to materialise.

To determine this, the BSB will ask chambers about various factors, including:

  • Areas of work;
  • Number of new cases started in the last 12 months;
  • Whether work is undertaken under the Public Access scheme;
  • Whether pupils are taken; and
  • Whether chambers undertake work within the Money Laundering Regulations or uses Barco (the Bar Council's escrow account service).

Later in the year, most chambers will then have to complete a Supervision Return form - explaining how effectively potential risks are being managed to help the BSB gauge the likelihood of these risks actually materialising.

For more information about supervision visit: www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/supervision.