Fieldfisher successfully represented the Legal Services Board (LSB) in defeating a claim for judicial review brought by four members of the Criminal Bar Association in relation to the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA).
The High Court evaluated the legality of the QASA and concluded: “The scheme is lawful, does not contravene European law and falls well within the legitimate exercise of the powers of the LSB and the three regulators that submitted it to the LSB for approval.”
QASA is a joint scheme being developed by the Bar Standards Board, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and ILEX Professional Standards. The scheme regulates the quality of all advocates appearing in the criminal courts in England and Wales, whether they are barristers, solicitors, or legal executives. The scheme applies to all advocates, whether they are self-employed or employed, and whether they are acting for the prosecution or defence.
The scheme systematically assesses and assures the quality of criminal advocacy in the courts in England and Wales and ensures that the performance of all advocates is measured against the same set of standards, regardless of an advocate's previous education and training.
LSB chairman David Edmonds said: “The High Court’s judgement has vindicated the integrity of the LSB’s process and the detailed work put in beforehand by the BSB, SRA and IPS."
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