BSB introduces new intervention rules
The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has published an updated version of its Handbook to introduce new rules governing regulatory interventions. The new rules are needed because the BSB has been given the statutory power to intervene into barristers’ practices in the very unlikely event that something has gone so seriously wrong that intervention is necessary to protect clients.
The powers are similar to those already held by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in relation to solicitors’ firms and come into force following a period of public consultation in 2015 and the subsequent approval by the Legal Services Board and Parliament of the necessary Order under the Legal Services Act.
The BSB has had powers of intervention in relation to Alternative Business Structures (ABSs) since April 2017.
The regulator has appointed two specialist intervention “agents” to act on its behalf should it deem it necessary to intervene in a barrister’s practice.
Director of Strategy and Policy Ewen MacLeod said:
“These new powers of intervention are an important addition to our range of regulatory tools. We expect to have to use them very infrequently and only in the rarest of situations where intervening is the only way in which we can safeguard clients’ interests.”
The Bar Standards Board handbook can be downloaded at www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/media/1968430/bsb_handbook_version_3.4.pdf