According to the Bar Standards Board (BSB), barristers had been slow to adopt new entity models, but take-up is “increasing significantly” since the application process became more streamlined.
Since the BSB was authorised to regulate organisations owned and managed by barristers and other lawyers in April, it has received 156 applications from individuals or groups looking to change their status, and granted 33 applications.
Cliodhna Judge, the BSB’s head of supervision and authorisation, said that the vast majority of applications have been from individuals looking to form individual corporate entities, either within or outside their existing chambers structure. She admitted that take-up had been “slow”, but added: “It is a new regime for the BSB. We are only seven months in and we didn’t know what the uptake would be.”
The regulator, she said, had used a ‘one size fits all’ application, which those looking to take advantage of the new business structures available, complained was “too complicated”.
However, the process has since been updated and even though the last Budget removed many of the tax advantages of incorporation, the number of applications has been “increasing significantly”.
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