LSB approves BSB changes to its professional misconduct standard of proof


The Legal Services Board (LSB), in accordance with its statutory powers, has granted the application of theBar Standards Board (BSB) to amend the standard of proof applied during professional misconduct proceedings.

Legal Services Board Chief Executive, Neil Buckley said:

“We have agreed a rule change application from the BSB, which brings their approach on assessing professional misconduct into line with that adopted by other professional regulators. 

The LSB thematic review of disciplinary processes in 2014 set out that that consistent use of the civil standard of proof across the legal services regulators was best regulatory practice. This move is a welcome further step towards achieving that objective.”

ENDS

For further information, please contact the LSB’s Communications Manager, Vincent McGovern (020 7271 0068).

Notes for editors:

  1. The Legal Services Board’s (LSB) decision document for the Bar Standards Board’s (BSB) application can be found here.
  2. The LSB is required by Part 3 of Schedule 4 of the Legal Services Act 2007 (the Act) to review and grant or refuse applications by approved regulators to make alterations to their regulatory arrangements.
  1. This application by the BSB is to alter their regulatory arrangements to amend the standard of proof used in disciplinary proceedings for professional misconduct brought against those regulated by the BSB including: barristers, authorised bodies and, in some circumstances, their employees and managers.  Henceforth the civil standard of proof will be applied in professional misconduct proceedings.
  2. The LSB may only refuse an application to alter regulatory arrangements (or introduce new ones) if it is satisfied that one or more of the grounds for refusal in paragraph 25 of Schedule 4, including the ground for refusal set out in paragraph 25(3)(b).  In this instance no grounds for refusal have arisen.
  3. The Act created the LSB as a new regulator with responsibility for overseeing the regulation of legal services in England and Wales. The new regulatory regime became active on 1 January 2010.
  4. The LSB oversees ten approved regulators, which in turn regulate individual legal practitioners. The approved regulators, designated under Part 1 of Schedule 4 of the 2007 Act, are the Law Society, the Bar Council, the Master of the Faculties, the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys, the Association of Costs Lawyers, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.In addition, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland is an approved regulator for probate activities only but does not currently authorise anyone to offer this service.
  1. As at 1 April 2017, the legal profession in England and Wales comprised 148,690 solicitors, 15,281 barristers, 6,809 chartered legal executives and 5,958 other individuals operating in other areas of the legal profession such as conveyancing. The UK legal sector turnover was £31 billion per annum (2016) which is up 19% in cash terms since 2012. For more information see here.

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