The Bar Council, the BSB Handbook and professional guidance
- There is a wealth of information on the Bar Council and BSB websites. It’s well worth searching them for ethical and regulatory guidance, as well as helpful documents relating to all sorts of practice issues and areas.
- The BSB Handbook is available at: https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/regulatory-requirements/bsb-handbook/the-handbook-publication/.
- There is an electronic version compatible with smart phones and tablets – see https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/regulatory-requirements/bsb-handbook/the-handbook-publication/ and click on ‘The Handbook App’.
- There is helpful guidance on the content of the Handbook and recent changes at https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/regulatory-requirements/bsb-handbook/handbook-resources/.
- It is important that you know the rules that govern your professional conduct, not only for your own benefit but so you can recognise if others fall below the standards expected of barrister. You will be guilty of serious misconduct yourself if you fail to report a barrister who has committed serious misconduct to the BSB (see BSB Handbook, rC66-69, where there is guidance as to what constitutes “serious misconduct”). If you need to make a report, or wish to talk to the BSB about a possible reporting situation, contact the BSB Professional Conduct Department on 020 7611 1445.
- The BSB website is the place to go for:
– Reminders of regulatory requirements (dealt with above)
– Details of CPD requirements at https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/regulatory-requirements/for-barristers/continuing-professional-development-from-1-january-2017/, and
– Practising certificate guidance (see above).
There is especially helpful Guidance for Unregistered Barristers (i.e. barristers without practising certificates) on Supplying Legal Services and Holding Out at https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/media/1731668/guidance_for_unregistered_barristers___holding_out.pdf(see BSB Handbook, Code Guidance). It gives a lot of detail on what a barrister who has been called but not obtained a practising certificate may say about his qualifications in any other working environment.
The Bar Council
Details of all Bar Council services are at http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/supporting-the-bar/. In particular:
- Training courses – see Member Services – Training Courses – especially on public access and public access top-up for barristers and clerks, litigation training, and on money laundering/POCA, credit management, and business development and marketing.
- Conferences and special training events – see http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/supporting-the-bar/conferences,-training-and-other-events/.
- Guidance notes on aspects of practice, in particular ethical and conduct issues – see http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/practice-ethics/professional-practice-and-ethics/.
- The dedicated Ethical Enquiries Service – 020 7611 1307 – available Monday-Friday 09:15 – 17:15. The helpline is run by Bar Council staff trained in the application of the BSB Handbook and professional practice requirements. You can also email enquiries to Ethics@BarCouncil.org.uk. You can find further information about the service on the Bar Council website: http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/practice-ethics/professional-practice-and-ethics/ethical-enquiries-service/.