29 March 2019
The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has today published its Strategic Plan for 2019-22, its Business Plan for 2019-20, and its latest Risk Outlook on the market for barristers' services.
The 2019-22 Strategic Plan follows on from a period which saw the regulator introduce a number of new policy initiatives such as reforms to the rules governing Bar training, to disciplinary and enforcement processes, and new transparency rules in response to the report of the Competition and Markets Authority. As a result, the BSB's priority for the next three years will be to ensure that those reforms are successfully implemented and evaluated.
This is reflected in the regulator's three strategic aims for 2019-22 which are:
- delivering risk-based, targeted and effective regulation;
- encouraging an independent, strong, diverse and effective legal profession; and
- advancing access to justice in a changing market.
These strategic aims derive from the priority risk themes which the BSB has identified within the market for barristers' services in its 2019 Risk Outlook. These are:
- working cultures and professional environment inhibit an independent, strong, diverse and effective profession;
- innovation and disruption in the legal services market offer threats and opportunities for the profession and for the public; and
- affordability and lack of legal knowledge threaten access to justice.
The Risk Outlook provides the evidence for why the BSB believes these risk themes are so significant, and why it is focusing its regulatory attention on them in the period ahead.
The 2019-20 Business Plan sets out in more detail the BSB's plans during the first year of the new strategic period.
Speaking about the suite of documents published today, the BSB's Director-General, Dr Vanessa Davies, said:
"Our latest analysis of the risks to our regulatory objectives has led us to confirm the three strategic aims outlined in our plan for the next three years. The past three years have seen significant debates about our policies particularly in the areas of training for the Bar, the transparency which barristers offer their clients and the way in which we make regulatory decisions, especially in disciplinary cases. Now that these issues are settled it is time to ensure that the reforms we have agreed are successfully implemented."
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
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