Law Council of Australia’s 2016 policy to improve equity in the profession hits milestone

The Law Council of Australia’s 2016 policy to improve equity in the legal profession has achieved its central aim. The Equitable Briefing Policy 2016 aimed to have female barristers receive  instructions in 30% of all matters by 1st July 2020. A recent report states this goal has been achieved, with 31% of all instructions going to female barristers.

Overall, the 2019-2020 reporting period found that of the 32,995 total briefs, 31%  (10,291) of these briefs went to female barristers and 69% (22,704) went to male barristers. This has exceeded the final target of the Policy by one percentage point and represents an increase of four percentage points from the previous reporting year.

“Female junior barristers were briefed at an even higher rate, receiving 37 per cent of briefs,” said Mr Liveris, Law Council of Australia President.

Read the full story here.

The Legal Services Regulatory Authority of the Republic of Ireland has launched an online survey for newly qualified solicitors and barristers

The Legal Services Regulatory Authority of the Republic of Ireland has launched an anonymous survey to capture the views of solicitors and barristers who have qualified since 2014 and have chosen not to practice. The aim of the research is to uncover the economic and other barriers faced by newly qualified barristers and solicitors. The survey will also take in those who practiced after qualification but are no longer in the profession.

The research comes after a request by the Ministry of Justice with the LSRA having been asked to pay particular attention to equity of access and entry into the legal professions with the objective of achieving greater diversity in the professions.

Read the full article here.

The Bar Standards Board of England and Wales has welcomed the new sanctions guidance announced by the Bar Tribunals and Sanctions Service

The Bar Standards Board of England and Wales has welcomed a new sanctions regime brought in by the Bar Tribunal and Sanctions Service. The new sanctions will be used by Disciplinary Tribunals and by the BSB’s Independent Decision-Making Body in deciding what sanctions to bring against barristers found to have committed professional misconduct.

The new sanctions came into force on 1st January 2022.

Read the full article here.

The Bar Standards Board of England and Wales has welcomed the new sanctions guidance announced by the Bar Tribunals and Sanctions Service

The Bar Standards Board of England and Wales has welcomed a new sanctions regime brought in by the Bar Tribunal and Sanctions Service. The new sanctions will be used by Disciplinary Tribunals and by the BSB’s Independent Decision-Making Body in deciding what sanctions to bring against barristers found to have committed professional misconduct.

The new sanctions came into force on 1st January 2022.

Read the full article here.

The Bar Standards Board of England and Wales moves to the next step of its project to ensure barristers practices comply with the Bar transparency rules.

The Bar Standards Board is beginning the next phase of its work regarding the Bar transparency rules which came into force in July 2019. This involves ensuring all barristers’ practices comply.

The Bar transparency rules are designed to help the public make informed decisions about barristers’ services and improve the information available to the public before they engage services. The rules require all self-employed barristers, chambers and BSB-regulated entities to publish specified information about their services, including which types of legal service they provide, their most commonly used pricing models and details of their clients’ rights of redress.

This move follows the publishing of a report on the impact of the new rules which shows that while most barristers’ practices have complied with the rules, compliance testing in 2020 and 2021 (which is ongoing) has revealed that there is still a significant minority who were not fully compliant with the rules.

Read the full story here.

New guidelines published for legal professionals practising within the Coroners’ Courts

The Bar Standards Board, with the Solicitors Regulation Authority and CILEx Regulation have outlined new guidelines for solicitors, barristers and CILEx advocates working in the Coroners court.

This includes:

  • A set of competences which spell out the standards expected of lawyers by the regulators and the public
  • Guidance and other resources to help make sure that the standards are met.

These new guidelines have been introduced on the back of concerns about the standards of practice among some lawyers in the Coroner’s Court. The adversarial approach taken by some have been seen as a particular issue that needs addressing.

Read the full story here