BSB launches digital comparison tool pilot

The BSB today launches a 12-month digital comparison tool (DCT) pilot. DCTs allow consumers to locate and select service providers, using a range of criteria such as a location, ratings and reviews to help with this process. The BSB is encouraging barristers to sign up to its pilot, to help us evaluate and understand how this market works for the Bar and its consumers.

The BSB pilot follows on from, and builds on, an earlier DCT pilot led by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the Council for Licenced Conveyancers and CILEx Regulation. The pilot initially focuses on employment law. This focus does not prevent barristers who specialise in other areas of law from joining our pilot if they wish. We are inviting both public access and referral barristers to take part.

The BSB’s Regulatory Objectives include “protecting and promoting public interest”,  “improving access to justice”, “promoting competition in the provision of services”, and “protecting and promoting the interests of consumers”. This pilot will help us understand whether and how the DCT market could further these objectives.

We currently have four DCTs signed up our pilot. The nature of the ratings and reviews, and other services offered, varies between DCTs. If you are a barrister or a DCT who is interested in participating in the pilot, please email us at DCTPilot@barstandardsboard.org.uk. Full information about the pilot is available on our dedicated webpage. We also plan to hold a webinar in October with a panel discussion on the pilot and opportunity for attendees to ask questions regarding the pilot. Barristers, other DCTs, consumer representative groups, and members of the public are invited to attend. We will announce further details of the webinar and how to register for it in due course.

“This pilot is an opportunity to explore how technology platforms such the digital comparison websites could facilitate choice of barrister, help promote consumer understanding of legal services and in the process contribute to improving access to justice issues. We hope to see the barrister profession come forward and participate in the pilot to assist us with understanding the benefits of this technology market for consumers and Bar.”

Ewen Macleod, Director of Strategy and Policy

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