This may well be the least interesting post ever in the history of the internet. Still, it will at least be short.
At the moment the BSB are having a consultation (deadline for response – 15th January 2014) on ‘Litigation Authorisation Application Fees‘. It sounds a riot, but the meat of it is actually even less exciting than it sounds.
What’s the issue up for grabs?
Probably nothing is ‘up for grabs’, people consult to tell you what they are going to do rather than out of genuine interest.
But, barristers of all stripes will shortly be able to conduct litigation (as to what that is is a whole different question, to me at least). To do this a barrister will have to be authorised by the BSB.
There will be an application process for authorisation, based on your prior experience, and the consultation asks two questions:
1. Should there be a separate fee for the authorisation (or amalgamate it with the general Practicing Certificate Fee)?
2. If so, is a £90 fee ‘reasonable’?
For what it’s worth, you can read my consultation response here. In essence, there are a few issues with it, but the amount seems fair enough. Whilst my view is that given the history of litigation it should be part of the PCF, it’s not a deal breaker with the BSB.
One thing that I do think needs consideration is whether the fee should be refundable if it’s not successful. Whilst I can see the logic in this, there are good reasons why that’s not a right course of action.
Conclusion And that’s it. If you’ve never done a consultation response before, this is a good one to kick off with. Compared to some of the BSB consultations (QASA and the new Code of Conduct) this is small change, but it’s good to remind them that we are interested and watching what they are up to … for that reason, if no other, it’s worth putting in your own response.