BSB seeks new powers over “failing chambers”

The Bar Standards Board is seeking new powers to step into “failing chambers” and other barristers’ businesses when something goes wrong. These include giving the BSB powers along the lines of those enjoyed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to seize client files and to intervene and take charge if a chambers is seen to be failing or has gone into administration.

The regulatory body cites the increase in public access work, of barristers undertaking litigation and the advent of new business models as factors that could alter the risk landscape. 

Ewen Macleod, director of regulatory policy for the BSB, said: “To be clear: these are powers that would be used very rarely, but we think that, in the event something goes awry, all clients should benefit from the same safeguards - regardless of whether they’re the client of an ABS, a BSB-regulated entity, or a barristers’ chambers.”

The BSB is consulting members on these proposals, and will be accepting feedback until 31 July.