Barristers

There has been considerable change in legal practice and the business of law since the introduction of the Legal Services Act 2007.

These legislative changes have really started to make a difference to the way that traditional legal services have been provided to the public, to individual consumers and businesses small and large in the last few years. In addition the Bar has had to cope with the changes brought about by the Bar Standards Board, the launch of the new Handbook and the BSB’s Risk Based Supervision Strategy.

Change and evolution will be constant. Heads of Chambers need to be geared up to deal with what is going on so that you can ensure compliance and exploit these changes for the benefit of chambers and those who make their living there.

Chambers are unique and there is no other similar structure in the legal market. Although nearly all barristers are individuals in private practice and all have their own obligations in terms of compliance, the reputation of chambers is affected by the actions and activities of all members and many if not all chambers have their own brand and of course reputation to look after.

Individual barristers are busy and have to cope with many demands placed on them by clients and courts so it is important for chambers to have a proper structure in place to make sure that legal practice and fee earning can be undertaken efficiently. Processes and knowledge management systems which are efficient and not a drain on scarce resources need to be in place. You need to ensure that all members of chambers can and do comply with the systems that are in place.

It is important for chambers to evolve so that barristers remain in demand and competitive. The bar may well want to compete for more types of legal work and deliver those services in different ways, perhaps in combination with others. It is important for chambers to know what is going on in the market place.

Our Compli team can deliver a flexible package of tailored support, including expert advice and assistance on structure, business management, regulation, complaints-handling, compliance and risk management. Our consultants can deliver bespoke training packages to Chambers, ensuring members are fully aware of their risk and compliance obligations, as well as important regulatory changes which could impact upon the profitability of the business.

Please see the list below for an overview of our core service offerings.

  • Risk management and one-stop healthcheck

    A compliance and risk management check is the first step in establishing a compliant regime. We will identify any actual or potential regulatory issues or failings and work with Chambers to devise solutions, and also identify risks that are causing or can lead to claims and complaints. Our aim is to address areas of non-compliance and recommend improvements which Chambers can adopt.

  • Business structure

    It has recently been reported that barristers are looking at a wide range of business structures – joining with solicitors for example – and this is likely to become of real interest if and when the BSB becomes an entity regulator. Compli has been involved in many ABS applications over the last three years and we now have an efficient and cost-effective process in place which will ensure the most cost-effective outcome for our clients.

  • Complaints management

    We can advise on cost-effective and compliant complaints-handling schemes. We have considerable experience in dealing with complaints from the Legal Ombudsman (including advising on and taking cases to judicial review). By taking the strain and helping to shoulder the emotional burden carried by the practitioner and head of chambers, we enable counsel to focus on the next case. Our team can provide a detailed overview showing the financial impacts of complaints to chambers and help to reduce the losses incurred.

  • Data security and cyber advice

    Mitigating risk is crucial to ensure the smooth and efficient running of any organisation, and chambers are no exception. In an environment where data is particularly sensitive and confidentiality is a primary concern, it is important that chambers have appropriate systems and procedures in place to deal with the consequences of a data breach or cyber attack. We offer advice on insurance arrangements and the implementation of systems and procedures which will help to reduce your vulnerability to cyber and data breaches which could result in civil liability and heavy fines from the information security regulators.

  • Training

    Our consultants are available to deliver bespoke training packages to chambers, ensuring members are fully aware of their risk and compliance obligations, as well as important regulatory changes which could impact upon the profitability of the business. This can be delivered online and can form part of continuing professional development.

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