23 February 2018

REMINDER: Last chance to have your say on entity regulation rule changes and insurance

2 September 2014

Barristers, consumer organisations, and interested parties have until 5 September 2014 to respond to an open consultation on specific aspects of the Bar Standards Board's (BSB) proposals for regulating entities.

The consultation has now closed.  The full proposals can be read here

Entities are companies or partnerships that provide advocacy, litigation, and expert legal advice services. For the BSB, becoming a regulator of entities could significantly help broaden the public's choice as to how they access legal services.

Under the BSB's entity regulation proposals, barristers and other advocacy-focussed lawyers would be able to pool together resources and share the risks of investing in their own business, without having to change regulators.

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

The paper outlines courses of action the regulator could take should a BSB-regulated entity fail, be abandoned, or engage in significant dishonesty. In such cases, the BSB will need to be able to enter the entity's premises and take control of client files if the entity's managers are unable or unwilling to assist.

In the longer-term, the BSB will apply for secondary legislation that would give it an explicit statutory power to 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.

ENDS

Notes to editors

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

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