20 July 2019

Blog: Monthly message from our Chair, Baroness Blackstone

In April, when we published our Strategic Plan for 2019-22, we announced that we would be reviewing the BSB Handbook to make sure that it remains fit for purpose, relevant and accessible, given that it has been in force in its current form for several years.

Our plan is to spend most of 2019-20 gathering evidence and talking to you, the profession, and other interested parties, about what our review should cover. Our initial thoughts are that we should make the Handbook easier to navigate and to use on mobile devices and that we might be able to simplify it in places, but we do want to know what you think.

We hope to decide the scope of our review in early 2020, and then undertake the review itself after that. We do not envisage this process leading to any fundamental changes to any of the core professional or ethical duties expected of all barristers. It is, however, a chance for you to share your experience of using the Handbook with us and to help us make it easier for you to navigate and to find the information you need more quickly.

To find out more about our call for evidence which runs until 30 September and how to give us your views, please visit our website.

Further to what I said last month about the introduction of new transparency rules for the Bar, we are still waiting for Legal Services Board approval. Subject to that approval, we will let you know as soon as the new rules are live.

And finally, I would like to welcome Elizabeth Prochaska and Leslie Thomas QC to our Board. They took up their new positions on 1 June 2019.