The Bar Standards Board (BSB), the independent regulatory body for barristers in England and Wales, is seeking barrister and lay members for its Independent Decision-Making Body. This is the second year of our new processes for taking regulatory decisions and we want to encourage a diverse range of people to support us in our ongoing modernisation of our enforcement processes.
The BSB regulates barristers and specialised legal services businesses in England and Wales in the public interest. Our statutory objectives are set out in the Legal Services Act 2007 and in pursuit of those objectives our duties include:
- setting education and training requirements;
- setting standards;
- authorising organisations;
- monitoring the service provided; and
- considering reports about conduct.
The Independent Decision-Making Body (IDB) is a non-executive body responsible for taking all our regulatory decisions that require independent input, and has been operating since September 2019. It consists of a pool of suitably qualified decision makers from which panels of lay and barrister members are formed to take decisions on individual cases - panels of three are used for authorisations and five for disciplinary cases. Most of the decisions for which the IDB is responsible are in relation to whether disciplinary action should be taken where breaches of the professional obligations, as set out in the BSB Handbook, may have occurred. However, the IDB is also responsible for, amongst other things, taking decisions in relation to appeals against executive decisions not to grant waivers from the Handbook requirements or decisions not to authorise or license a body to provide legal services.
The work of an IDB member will include preparing for, chairing and/or attending Panel meetings, attending training sessions as required and ensuring that they stay up to date with issues related to the regulation of the Bar. We are seeking at least three barrister and at least three lay members to join the IDB.
We are also recruiting to the position of Vice Chair of the IDB. This position, in addition to the above functions, will be responsible with the Chair of the IDB for: providing the leadership of the IDB; carrying out the appraisals process of IDB members; providing feedback on panel member performance; and taking limited decisions outside panel meetings.
For both the positions of Vice Chair and those for ordinary members of the IDB we welcome applications from barristers and lay people with experience across a range of practice areas, both executive and non-executive. Knowledge of higher legal education and/or qualification as a barrister are also sought.
Appointments will be for an initial period of up to three years, subject to satisfactory appraisal on completion of 18 months’ and three years’ service. Candidates are welcome to apply for both positions and should indicate which role(s) they are applying for in their covering letter, and address the corresponding competencies contained in the application pack.
Remuneration for all members of the IDB is paid at a flat rate of £308 per day or £154 per half day (plus VAT, if relevant) – this covers both attendance at meetings and preparation time.
Where physical meetings are necessary or desirable they will be hosted from London, but we encourage applications from those located elsewhere in the country. All IDB panel meetings have been held remotely in the past year and we will continue to provide these facilities. However, members may be requested, from time to time, to attend events in London for which reasonable expenses will be paid.
For more information and details on how to apply, please visit the About Us section of our website www.barstandardsboard.org.uk. Candidates should provide a covering letter outlining how they meet the competencies required for the position(s), together with a brief CV.
We welcome applications from all people who meet the role requirements regardless of background and particularly encourage those from groups that are currently underrepresented in our independent decision-making processes such as women, and people from minority ethnic groups, people who are LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities.
If you have any queries, please contact Rebecca Forbes, Head of Governance and Corporate Services, in the first instance: RForbes@BarStandardsBoard.org.uk
For more information on how to apply, please review the candidate pack. Candidates should provide a covering letter outlining how they meet the competencies required for the position(s), together with a brief CV, supporting details form and equality and diversity monitoring form (optional).
The candidate pack can be found here.
Please send completed applications to: BSBapplications@BarStandardsBoard.org.uk
Closing date for applications: 9am Monday 3 May 2021.
Interviews will take place in London or via remote participation in the week commencing 28 June 2021. The date may change, including the possible addition of other dates, depending on interview panel and applicant availability.
It is anticipated that mandatory training will take place in September 2021.