News Stories

General: 16 November 2020

King’s Inns publishes Statement of the Required Competencies of a Barrister

King’s Inns publishes Statement of the Required Competencies of a Barrister

The Honorable Society of King’s Inns publishes the Statement of the Required Competencies of a Barrister, which was approved by the Council of King’s Inns at its meeting on Wednesday, 11 November 2020.

View the Statement of the Required Competencies of a Barrister here.

How King’s Inns developed the Statement


In September 2018, the Legal Services Regulatory Authority (LSRA) published an initial report (view the report here) as part of its statutory requirement, pursuant to section 34 of the Legal Services Regulation Act, to review legal practitioner education and training. This report was largely informed by research that the LSRA had commissioned by the consultants Hook Tangaza.

One of the key recommendations of the Hook Tangaza research was that the LSRA would produce a statement of the required competencies of a barrister (and that a similar statement would be produced for the solicitors’ profession also). The purpose of such a statement is that legal education and training would thereafter be designed and measured by reference to the competencies identified therein.

King’s Inns agreed with this proposal and, rather than await such a statement being designed by the LSRA, committed to the LSRA that it would develop its own statement. King’s Inns would use the statement it designed to ensure that the design and structure of the Barrister–at–Law Degree course is clearly referable to the competencies identified therein.

Who we consulted with

King’s Inns has designed the Statement of Competencies following a two–phase process of research and consultation, under the guidance of Council’s Working Group on LSRA related matters.

First, King’s Inns commissioned the leading market research group Kantar to carry out a series of focus groups with Benchers, practitioners, members of the judiciary, solicitors and other interested parties. These focus groups were carried out over the course of Michaelmas Term 2019. The results of this research were presented to Council in February 2020.

Based on the results of this research, an initial draft Statement was prepared and presented to the Working Group in March 2020.

The second phase involved publishing the draft Statement on the King’s Inns website and engaging in a public consultation exercise (view the consultation process here) to elicit views on the draft. This consultation took two forms:

  1. A publicly accessible survey;
  2. An invitation to make a written submission.

The survey expressed broad support for the concept of the Statement, the need for such a Statement and for the draft as published.

Approval by Council of King’s Inns

Following consideration of the survey results and the content of written submissions made by a variety of parties, a revised draft Statement was prepared. This was approved by Council at its meeting on Wednesday 11 November 2020 and the text of this statement is as approved at that meeting.