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Consultation on the Bar Standards Board’s strategic programme for 2019

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has today published a consultation seeking views on its strategic priorities and aims for the next three-year period starting in April 2019, supported by updated analysis of the key risks facing the Bar.

The regulator has proposed the following high-level aims for its 2019-22 Strategic Plan:

  • 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.

As the risk-based regulator of the Bar in England and Wales, the BSB’s proposed strategic aims reflect the key risks that it has identified in the market for barristers’ and advocacy services. Today’s consultation paper also seeks views on these risk themes. They 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.

Speaking about today’s consultation launch, BSB Director-General, Dr Vanessa Davies, said:

“Our next strategic phase is very much about consolidating our recent policy initiatives such as reforms to the rules governing Bar training and focussing on our core role in regulating the Bar.
But we also want to explore from our standpoint some important areas such as how technology is changing legal practice and the justice system, and the impact of other developments, including the changes to legal aid, on our statutory role. We are very keen to hear what our stakeholders think about the risks and strategic aims which we have identified in this consultation.”

The full consultation paper can be found here.

The consultation closes at 5pm on 10 December 2018.

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: