25 February 2018

Revising rules relating to authorisation to practise and public access work following consultations

We have recently approved a number of rule changes for barristers renewing their practising certificates and for those doing public access work following recent consultations.

The new rules, which are subject to Legal Services Board approval, state that these declarations will need to be made when barristers apply for or renew their practising certificate. We hope that the new rules will be in place by February 2018.

These new rules will:

  • improve our understanding of the work of barristers, thereby helping us to target regulation more effectively;
  • ensure that we and the barristers we regulate comply with new Money Laundering Regulations;
  • allow us to identify barristers who are working in the Youth Court to promote standards in those proceedings; and
  • help us to communicate with barristers more securely and effectively.

We have also announced changes to the Public and Licensed Access Rules. We will:

  • continue not to apply the 'cab rank' rule to public and licensed access cases, as this could impact access to justice;
  • remove the requirement for barristers who are of less than three years' standing to maintain a Public Access log;
  • make a range of simplifications to make the Public and Licensed Access Rules less prescriptive and more proportionate; and
  • implement a number of amendments to the Licensed Access Rules, which permit certain expert clients to instruct barristers who have not undertaken public access training directly.

Read more in our press release.