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BSB reins in price publishing plan under pressure from chambers | Law Society Gazette

The bar’s regulator has backed away from plans to require chambers to publish hourly rates and fixed fees on their websites, averting fears that transparency could spark a ‘price war’ among barristers.

The Bar Standards Board last night revealed that after consulting the profession it had dropped plans for barristers specialising in contentious areas to publish prices, opting instead to focus primarily on those undertaking public access work.

However, plans will be considered to require chambers’ websites to provide a link to regulatory information about members and to complaints upheld by the Legal Ombudsman and bar disciplinary tribunal.

Under proposals cases will be re-categorised as ‘high impact’, for which price information will be mandatory, and ‘lower impact’, for which it will be discretionary. The regulator said it will commission further research on this.

Last year’s Bar Conference heard fears that solicitors could start demanding that barristers accept lower rates in a supermarket-style ‘price war’ if chambers were forced to publish prices online.

The CMA initially recommended that price information should apply only to public access barristers.

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BSB reins in price publishing plan under pressure from chambers | News | Law Society Gazette.