10 Sep 2020

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) yesterday issued its Regulatory Return questionnaire to a selection of around 350 chambers, BSB entities and sole practitioners.

The Regulatory Return is a way for the BSB to assess risk across the Bar and levels of compliance with its rules. It is an exercise last undertaken in 2015-16.

The Return contains a range of questions including views on the risks that the profession faces, information about processes and controls in key areas of practice, and some questions on specific topics that are currently a priority in the regulator’s strategic plan, such as dealing with allegations of harassment. The BSB is also very aware that the current health crisis has impacted the Bar in different ways and is keen to know more about that via the Return. For example, the BSB wants to know what new risks or opportunities have arisen from COVID-19, whether chambers and entities have modified their governance or working practices or whether it has led to changes in how barristers use technology in their work.

Those sole practitioners selected to complete the Return will receive a shorter, tailored version of the questionnaire.

Commenting on the launch of the Regulatory Return, Oliver Hanmer, Director of Regulatory Operations, said: “This is an opportunity for those selected to explain how effectively potential risks are being managed, how they ensure compliance with the BSB Handbook and how high standards of practice are maintained. The Return enables us to target our resources at those chambers, entities, individuals or areas that would benefit from supervisory attention. Those managing risk effectively can expect a lower level of supervision.”



Notes to editors

About the Bar Standards Board

Our mission is to regulate barristers and specialised legal services businesses in England and Wales in the public interest. For more information about what we do visit: http://bit.ly/1gwui8t

Regulatory Return Q&A session

The Legal Practice Management Association (LPMA) and the Institute of Barristers’ Clerks (IBC) will be holding a Regulatory Return Question and Answers session on Monday 14th September 2020 at 13.00.

The event will be attended by Julia Witting, Head of Supervision at the Bar Standards Board, who will be happy to answer any questions you have on completing the questionnaire.

You can find further details and/or register for the event here.


Contact: For all media enquiries call: 020 7611 4691 or email [email protected].


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