The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has today published guidance for professional clients of barristers and advisors regulated by the Office of Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) to provide them with useful information when instructing immigration barristers. It was developed in collaboration with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and OISC.
Today’s guidance is the latest in a series of immigration guidance documents involving the BSB following its 2016 Immigration Thematic Review. The review identified three key risks in the way that the market for immigration legal services operates: access to justice, poorly informed consumers, and the quality of advice and standards of service.
In June 2017, the BSB published guidance for the public and for professionals on immigration and asylum related legal issues. In April 2018, it published an online guide for barristers working with vulnerable immigration clients
Today’s guidance aims to ensure that professional clients, OISC advisors, solicitors and barristers understand their respective roles and that all parties work together in a way that delivers an effective service to the client. The guidance has been produced following input from practising immigration barristers and OISC advisors.
BSB Director of Strategy and Policy, Ewen MacLeod said: “Along with our previously published guidance on immigration and asylum related legal services, we hope that this latest addition for professional clients, OISC advisors and barristers will help address some of the issues we identified during our 2016 thematic review. As a regulator acting in the public interest, we will continue to monitor the regulatory tools we have implemented since the thematic review to determine whether they are having the intended impact.
OISC Director of Operations Stephen Seymour, said: “The latest version of the joint guidance focuses on a key theme supporting our mission statement ‘protecting customers through regulating immigration advice’; improving the quality of immigration advice across the whole sector. The guidance will help ensure that there is effective communication between immigration advisors and barristers, which will lead to our customers receiving better quality immigration advice.”