Under the Legal Services Act certain legal services are reserved to those who are authorised to provide them.
For barristers, only those who have practising certificates are authorised persons. Such services are known as ‘reserved legal activities’ which are as follows:
the exercise of a right of audience;
the conduct of litigation;
reserved instrument activities;
notarial activities; and
the administration of oaths.
Under the Legal Services Act 2007, legal services, other than those which are reserved legal activities, are not subject to any special statutory regulation. This statement is to explain our status in providing our clients with legal services.
Although the following consultants are qualified as barristers, they are not entitled to practise as barristers. They do not have practising certificates and are not on the register of practising barristers:
In providing any legal services to our clients, they are not acting as a barrister and are not subject to many of the rules which regulate practising barristers.
This limits the scope of the service that can be provided to our clients. We can provide them with legal advice and represent them before certain tribunals, but we cannot represent them in Court. Where our clients' requirements give rise to a need to perform reserved legal activities, we instruct suitably-qualified solicitors and barristers to do so, supervising their conduct and acting as client representative in order to protect those clients' interests.
The Legal Ombudsman, which can adjudicate on complaints about poor service by practising barristers, cannot consider any complaint against us.
It is, however, possible to complain to the Bar Standards Board and it will investigate whether we have failed to comply with any of the rules which apply to us, but it cannot investigate possible breaches of rules which apply only to practising barristers.