BSB ups compensation levels

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has increased the amount of compensation consumers can get when barristers provide inadequate services, from £5,000 to £15,000.

The BSB approved the £10,000 increase at a meeting yesterday (23 September) in response to a review by the Complaints Redress Working Group, which reported to the BSB in May.

The working group also recommended that bar disciplinary panels should be able to order a barrister to apologise to a successful complainant, whether or not that person was the barrister’s client.

BSB chair Ruth Evans said the increase in the compensation threshold was needed to provide more flexibility in situations where complainants have suffered significant financial loss as a result of poor service.

However, Evans added: “The board believes there is a fundamental distinction between misconduct and poor service, and, while they may overlap in certain cases, they should not be treated as giving rise to identical considerations.”