BSB granted extra powers to tackle misbehaving barristers

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By Rhys Duncan on


Interim suspensions

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has expanded its powers to regulate barristers with interim suspensions following approval from the Legal Services Board (LSB).

After a consultation last year, the BSB and disciplinary tribunals have increased powers to protect the public by restricting or suspending a barrister’s practise on an interim basis.

These suspensions can be handed out to barristers where a finding of misconduct has been made, but a sanctions decision has been deferred to a later date. This, the BSB says, will assist in protecting the public and the public interest.

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The powers will also allow the BSB to refer barristers to an interim suspension panel “where it is necessary to protect the public or is otherwise in the public interest”.

Sara Jagger, BSB director of legal and enforcement said:

“We are pleased that the Legal Services Board has now approved these important changes to our regulatory arrangements, which will enable us to better protect the public and maintain public confidence.”



“These suspensions can be handed out to barristers where a finding of misconduct has been made, but a sanctions decision has been deferred to a later date.”

Any and all types of misconduct? Is that what the BSB means? That they have been granted wide-ranging powers to suspend a barrister (and put a scythe through their income) even if the barrister’s misconduct was relatively minor and likely only to attract a fine?

Is the BSB putting in place a guarantee of how many days will lapse between the date of a finding of misconduct and the date of the sanctions decision, so that barristers are not left vulnerable to months of unnecessary/unmerited suspension?

Do barristers have the right to seek monetary compensation in circumstances where they are suspended after a finding of misconduct, but the ultimate sanction does not amount to a suspension?


Do you have any evidence at all that the BSB is leaving barristers destitute over ‘trivial’ matters?

Some of the most recent tribunal decisions I’ve read this year involve drink-driving, dishonesty and barristers selling drugs.


I second this comment. The potential for these suspensions leading to disproportionate punishment is very high. I sincerely hope that they are only applied in cases where disbarment or a long suspension is a very likely outcome.


The picture of a barrister with a book and a red ribboned brief is hideously outdated.

It should be a laptop in one hand and smartphone in the other.

Blowhole of the Baileys and Cream

I had an opponent the other week who, when I googled [them] had a number of criminal convictions but still wasn’t struck off.

In most sectors that would be the end.

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