The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has today published new guidance that aims to encourage barristers to follow good practice when they receive feedback from their clients. It has also published a guide for the public about using and leaving feedback about barristers’ services.
Along with the other legal regulators, the BSB was asked by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to produce this guidance as one of the recommendations in its 2016 study into the legal services’ market.
The guidance for barristers, which was developed with input from barristers, practice managers and clerks, aims to share:
- examples of good practice and practical advice to improve the systems that barristers and chambers already have in place;
- some of the barriers barristers face when collecting feedback and how they can be overcome;
- the sort of questions to ask when seeking feedback; and
- how barristers and chambers can use the information they receive.
The guide for the public is for people who are:
- looking for feedback to help them choose a barrister;
- looking to instruct a barrister based on feedback they have received from someone or have seen somewhere else; or
- wanting to give feedback on the service they have received from a barrister to help them improve their practice or to help others choose a barrister.
BSB Director of Regulatory Assurance, Oliver Hanmer, said: “Seeking and receiving feedback from those to whom we provide services is an important way to see where we are doing things well or where we might need to improve. Many at the Bar have mechanisms in place to obtain feedback and this guidance is designed to help build on those arrangements but also to encourage others to introduce them. We are particularly keen to see the Bar seek ways of gathering feedback from their lay clients. We hope that our guidance to the public on how to provide feedback will make this easier.”