A watching brief - the challenges facing the Bar Standards Board
The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has come a long way since its inception in 2006 when the Bar Council split off its regulatory arm from its representative function. But with the profession entering its most challenging period yet, as Government spending cuts take their toll and the Legal Services Act (LSA) comes into effect, the BSB is facing its most crucial test to date. After the watchdog celebrated its fifth birthday last month, the question being asked is how the BSB will cope with the changes ahead to regulate the profession successfully. As the regulator for barristers in England and Wales, the BSB takes responsibility for setting the education and training standards of barristers throughout their careers as well as monitoring their quality and conduct. With the LSA bringing about fundamental changes to the profession, not least to its culture, by allowing barristers to form partnerships and join forces with solicitors, it is clear that the regulator must evolve once more.
Five years after its creation, the Bar Standards Board has gained broad approval from the profession, but it is about to face its biggest test to date. Claire Ruckin examines how the watchdog plans to grapple with the arising issues
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