07 October 2015

Concerns about a barrister

This page is for anyone who would like to raise a concern about a barrister or learn more about our complaints procedure.


We may be able to help you if you are unhappy with the behaviour of a barrister that is or was not acting for you.

Please click here if you are unhappy with the service provided by a barrister that is or was acting for you.

Please click here if you are a BSB Regulated Person and you need to make a report of serious misconduct committed by you or by another BSB Regulated Person, in accordance with your duties under the BSB Handbook.


What we can do

We regulate barristers in England and Wales and have published a Handbook with rules that barristers must follow.

We can take action against a barrister that has not followed (breached) the Handbook. The action we may take ranges from sending a barrister a letter of advice to removing their ability to practise as a barrister.

In the past, we have taken action against a barrister if they have:

  mislead the court
  failed to keep information confidential
  acted dishonestly or in a way that damages the profession's reputation
 discriminated against someone
 committed a criminal offence

You may find it helpful to read about the types of complaint that we do not normally investigate by clicking here.

How to complain about a barrister that is or was not acting for you

If you are unhappy with the behaviour of a barrister that is or was not acting for you, you can make a complaint to us.

To make your complaint, please:

1.  Tell us what happened by filling in our Complaints Form. You can download the form here. The Form also has guidance to help you complete it.

2. Fill in our Equality & Diversity Monitoring Form, which can be found here. This helps us to see how our policies and services affect people from different backgrounds.

3.  Send both Forms back to us, either:

•  by email at: assessmentcomplaints@barstandardsboard.org.uk or

•  by post at: Assessment Team, Professional Conduct Department, Bar Standards Board, 289-293 High Holborn, London WC1V 7HZ

It is important that you send your complaint form to us within 12 months of the problem arising.

After we have received your Complaint Form, we will look carefully at it to see if it shows a possible breach of the Handbook. We will then decide if the complaint needs to be investigated. If we decide to investigate your complaint, we will try to let you know within 8 weeks of you making your complaint.


Further information on the BSB's complaints procedure

To find out more about our complaints procedure, you can read our leaflet on making a complaint about a barrister or look at our flow-diagram.

You can also read our Frequently Asked Questions.

To find out more about the BSB's Professional Conduct Department, please click here.

Any questions?

If you would like any advice on our complaints process, please do get in touch.

You can phone our switchboard on 020 7611 1444 and ask to speak the BSB Assessment Team. We're here from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

You can also email us at: assessmentcomplaints@barstandardsboard.org.uk

We are committed to ensuring that nobody is disadvantaged in making a complaint because of a disability or impairment.

We can, for example, provide our literature in different formats. We can also give you additional time to respond to our enquiries or support you in making your complaint over the phone.

If you are disabled or have any practical needs, please get in touch and let us know how we can best help you by:

•  phoning 020 7611 1444 (please ask to speak to the BSB Assessment Team)

•  emailing us at assessmentcomplaints@barstandardsboard.org.uk