Judges set to assess barrister performance

Judges are set to pass judgment on the performance of barristers and could send them for extra training under a new scheme proposed by the Bar Standards Board.

The bar’s regulator wants to introduce a quality assurance scheme to ensure that standards of advice and advocacy among barristers remain high.

Bar Standards Board chair Ruth Evans told The Lawyer: “We’re planning how we’re going to make sure that the public and clients are satisfied that there’s a consistent quality of work out there.”

Evans said the non-compulsory quality assurance scheme would apply to all barristers, regardless of call or specialism.

She added: “Other professions have an appraisal or revalidation process that ensures the public interest. The same should apply to barristers.”

Evans said the idea had arisen from a suggestion raised by Bar Council vice-chair Geoffrey Vos QC during work on the Carter review into legal aid funding.

The scheme is likely to see those working with barristers, including the judiciary, encourage an individual practitioner to seek more training if there is an area in which they are weak.