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Sophie Cameron

Features and Opinion Editor, Solicitors Journal

Bar Standards Board publishes new business plan

60 Seconds
Bar Standards Board publishes new business plan


The business plan details the actions to meet the strategic aims of the BSB

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) published its new business plan for 2023/24 on 4 April, which details the actions the BSB will be taking to achieve the strategic aims set out in the BSB Strategy 2022-25.  

Alongside the publication of the new business plan, the BSB has also published a letter to the new Chair of the Legal Services Board (LSB), Alan Kershaw, and an action plan, which responds to the LSB’s latest regulatory performance assessment. The letter explains the background to the BSB’s action plan of transformative reform and the need to integrate such reforms into the BSB’s business plan, as well as the BSB’s aim to be a proactive regulator.

The so-called transformative reforms included in the BSB’s latest business plan are designed to enable the regulator to achieve operational excellence in delivering its regulatory objectives. In addition to this, the BSB is keen to be ‘on the front foot as a regulator’, which includes anticipating relevant risks and opportunities, making better use of intelligence and ensuring that barristers chambers are effective in overseeing standards, equality and access.

The foreword to the business plan explains that the BSB aims to be a force for change in the service that the Bar provides to the public, which in addition to its regulatory focus also includes developing a comprehensive understanding of the standards and skills needed to ensure that the Bar can meet the needs of consumers and for the administration of justice in the future.

The BSB intends to consult on most of the reforms and initiatives outlined in the business plan, which will require changes to the BSB Handbook and Code of Conduct. In short the BSB will put in place actions to: clarify the expectations of chambers, particularly in promoting high standards, access and equality, and work with the Bar Council and the profession to consolidate those expectations and promote good practice; take forward essential amendments to the Code of Conduct and Handbook, including amendments coming out of other priority work programmes; reform its approach to capturing, collating and analysing data and intelligence; and carry out a review of the BSB risk framework.