The Bar Standards Board has uncovered three chambers with financial issues requiring immediate attention, following a series of trial supervision visits.
The supervision programme started at the beginning of this year and has so far led to 13 visits to different chambers.
Around 120 actions have been raised, with half defined as important and a third considered to merit attention.
Six needed immediate attention: five related to the financial vulnerability of three chambers, with these chambers required to prepare emergency plans in the event they were forced to close unexpectedly. The sixth urgent matter involved delays.
The three chambers involved in immediate action are now subject to ongoing monitoring by the BSB.
The barristers’ regulator said the visits are intended to promote good practices such as more transparent complaint processes.
Among the actions raised were risk management, viability, complaints-handling and equality and diversity requirements.
The BSB said chambers staff ‘appeared to appreciate’ a more constructive relationship with the collaborator and the chance to work more closely.
Director of supervision Oliver Hanmer said the BSB was encouraged by the improvements seen in chambers’ risk management, governance, and service delivery.
‘We are delighted with the positive responses from the chambers we have worked with,’ he added.
‘It’s clear that this approach is helping to foster a more constructive relationship between the BSB and those who we regulate. Fundamentally, these visits are vital in helping the BSB better protect the interests of clients by preventing potential risks snowballing into real problems.’
More supervision visits will be made as a result of the pilot scheme.