Baroness Blackstone’s Blog

In last month’s update I briefly referred to a speech which our Director General, Mark Neale, gave to the Legal Practice Management Association on 12 May. In that speech Mark made clear that we recognise that chambers have a very important role in promoting high standards, ensuring equality and inclusion, countering bullying and harassment and in facilitating access for consumers.  He also talked about how we want to encourage chambers to adopt best practice in these areas and, where they can, to go beyond the minimum regulatory requirements.

One of the key themes of the new three-year strategy we published in April was our desire to work in collaboration with others.  We completely agree with those who responded to our consultation on the strategy that we should avoid duplicating work that is being undertaken by the profession, and that we should only intervene where regulation is strictly necessary and where we can really add value.

This is just such an area for collaboration.  We want to draw on the evidence we have gathered through the Regulatory Return and to talk to chambers as to how best we can bring all our regulatory requirements guidance on good practice for chambers into one place.  And we want to do this in a way which will be helpful to chambers and which recognises the demands on them. So, we hope to hold a roundtable with chambers that would like to be involved in this discussion in the early Autumn. Do please email if you would like to take part.

While we see promoting equality, diversity and inclusion as one of the key tasks of chambers, we know we also have a vital part to play so I should also like to draw your attention to a statement Tackling counter-inclusive misconduct through disciplinary processes  which has been signed by all the legal service regulators and the two disciplinary tribunal providers.  The statement sets out our commitment to tackling counter-inclusive misconduct, which is conduct which intentionally or unintentionally has the effect of narrowing or denying opportunities to people because of their background or characteristics.

Finally, I hope that those of you who are pupil supervisors will read this article regarding mandatory refresher training.  I should also like to remind you again of the need to comply fully with the sanctions imposed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Do please keep an eye on our website which includes guidance to help you.


Also in this month’s online Regulatory Update:

The legal regulators reaffirm their commitment to creating a more inclusive profession

BSB appoints a further new member to its Advisory Pool of Experts (APEX)

Authorisation to Practise deadline extended