BSB Rules

Bar Standards Board - Code of Conduct and the new Handbook

On this page are set out the primary references to confidentiality and obligations to maintain proper records.

Core Duties
CD6 - You must keep the affairs of each client confidential

Conduct Rules
Rule C5.5 - you must protect the confidentiality of each client's affairs, except for such disclosures as are required by law or to which your client gives informed consent.

Guidance: gC47 - The section You and Your Practice, at 2.C5, provides for duties regarding the systems and procedures you must put in place and enforce in order to ensure compliance with Rule C15.5.

Rule C64.1 - promptly provide all such information to the Bar Standards Board as it may, for the purpose of its regulatory functions…

Rule C86 - Where you outsource to a third party any support services that are critical to the delivery of any legal services in respect of which you are instructed:
.3 - you must ensure that such outsourcing is subject to contractual arrangements which ensure that such third party:
.a - is subject to confidentiality obligations similar to the confidentiality obligations placed on you in accordance with this Handbook

Rule C87 - You must take reasonable steps to ensure that:
.1 - your practice is efficiently and properly administered having regard to the nature of your practice; and
.2 - proper records of your practice are kept.

Guidance: gC134 - Your duty under Rule C89.5 to have proper arrangements in place for ensuring the confidentiality of each client’s affairs includes:
.1 - putting in place and enforcing adequate procedures for the purpose of protecting confidential information;
.2 - complying with data protection obligations imposed by law;
.3 - taking reasonable steps to ensure that anyone who has access to such information or data in the course of their work for you complies with these obligations; and
.4 - taking into account any further guidance on confidentiality which is available on the Bar Standards Board's website.

Licensed Access

rC140 - A barrister who accepts instructions from a licensed access client must keep a case record (whether on card or computer) which sets out:
.1 - the date of receipt of the instructions, the name of the licensed access client, the name of the case, and any requirements of the licensed access client as to time limits;
.2 - the date on which the instructions were accepted;
.3 - the dates of subsequent instructions, of the despatch of advices and other written work, of conferences and of telephone conversations;

See also rC141.

Public Access

(1) See rC128 and rC129 for obligations similar to those for Licensed Access.

(2) barristers with less that 3 years call must:

- seek feedback from their public access clients on the service provided; and
- maintain a log of public access cases they have dealt with, including any issues or problems that have arisen and make this log available, on request, to the BSB for review.

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