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Barristers unpersuaded by new business models, BSB finds

Barristers unpersuaded by new business models, BSB finds

Most barristers want to keep the chambers model and claim they can adapt to changes in the legal market while retaining the traditional set up, research from the bar's regulator has shown.

According to a report published by the Bar Standards Board, while 'new and innovative' business models are available, most barristers would prefer to keep the status quo for the self-employed bar.

The 'provision of legal services by barristers' report summarises the results of an online survey conducted by the BSB at the end of last year. The survey sought answers from barristers on their chambers' or company's business models and the potential reasons for any changes they may make, including on whether to become a licensed entity or alternative business structure.

Main findings:

  • barristers consider that the main drivers for changing their model are: meeting an unmet client need for legal services; needing to respond to competition in the market; and changing client expectations (for example fixed fee payment structures)
  • just 5% said they planned to change their fee structure; 8% planned to change the way they receive instructions; and 7% said they were planning to change their governance structure. As responses were more likely to be attracted from practitioners who had at least considered new business models, the overall level of interest may be even lower

Source: Law Gazette

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