19 June 2018

Reminder to Public Access barristers

3 October 2014

It is a year since the Bar Standards Board (BSB) introduced changes to the Public Access rules. This means that Public Access barristers who have not yet undertaken the required top-up training have 12 months left to do so otherwise they must cease to conduct Public Access work.

The new training requirements were introduced following a review of Public Access training that concluded that a new training regime should be established to protect the interests of consumers.

A small number of existing Public Access barristers may be eligible for a waiver from the top-up training, but they must apply for this. Those most likely to be eligible for a waiver will be able to demonstrate extensive experience of undertaking Public Access work and legal aid cases involving vulnerable clients, as well as the associated knowledge and understanding required.

It is also a year since junior barristers of fewer than three years' practising experience have been able to undertake Public Access work, provided they:

  • complete the new Public Access training;
  • have a "Qualified Person" (a Public Access barrister who is available to provide guidance to them) for Public Access work;
  • maintain a log of Public Access cases they have dealt with, including any issues or problems which have arisen;
  • make this log available, on request, to the BSB for review; and
  • seek feedback from their Public Access clients on the service provided.

Public Access barristers of fewer than three years practising experience must inform the BSB of their 'qualified person' for Public Access work. They can do this by contacting the Records Office on 0207 242 0934.

For more information about Public Access rules, including details of Public Access training providers, please visit: www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/publicaccess or email us at bsbcontactus@barstandardsboard.org.uk.

Training providers are listed here.

ENDS

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