Barristers are often accused of being stuck in the past. However, April and May have seen wigs and gowns replaced by virtual hearings and electronic bundles, and the bar’s fusty image has undergone a radical spring clean. Unfortunately, the regulator seems to have missed the e-memo.
The Bar Standards Board shunned the popular platforms of Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams for its public meeting last month, opting for lesser-known software to conduct its business. Obiter arrived at the conference five minutes late after a series of technical glitches, to find a bluish picture of the BSB’s director general filling the screen. All that could be heard was a strangled gargling, rather like a scuba diver encountering a killer whale.
After profuse apologies and much toing and froing, board members managed to talk about the health emergency, furloughing, exam arrangements and updates to the handbook. However, Obiter suspects the minutes will be pithier than usual.