If your complaint is about a barrister, or other person we
regulate, who was not representing you, you are in the
right place. You can make your complaint to us and we will assess
if they have broken the rules.
It is our job to ensure that they behave in a
professional way. As part of this, we publish a
handbook with rules that they must follow. If they break those
rules and we think the issue is serious enough, we can take action
to prevent them from breaking the rules again. This might range
from supervising their practice more closely, sending them a
letter of advice, to fining them, preventing them from working as a
barrister, or other person we regulate, for up to three years,
or removing their ability to act as a barrister, or other person we
regulate. We don't have the power to order that they pay
compensation to you or anybody else.
Tell us what happened by filling in our
Please also complete our
Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form. This helps us to see
how our policies and services affect people from different
Send both forms back to us:
• by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org,
• by post to: Assessment
Team, Professional Conduct Department, Bar Standards Board, 289-293
High Holborn, London WC1V 7HZ,
• by DX to: Assessment
Team, Professional Conduct Department, Bar Standards Board, DX 240
• by fax to: 020 7831
9217 addressing it to the Assessment Team, Professional Conduct
Department, Bar Standards Board.
If you would like to talk to someone about making your
complaint, you can phone our switchboard on 020 7611
1444 and ask to speak to the Professional Conduct
Department Information Line. We are here from 9am to 5pm, Monday to
Alternatively you can email us at email@example.com
We look into complaints about barristers,
or other people we regulate, who may have:
"I complained about a barrister who I overheard talking to his
client about me and the group I represented in offensive terms. It
wasn't just my word against theirs as there were other people who
had overheard. The Bar Standards Board investigated and sent the
barrister a written warning about their behaviour."
"I felt my ex-partner's barrister twisted all the
facts and mislead the court by making it look like I didn't have a
case, so I made a complaint. But it didn't get very far. When I was
told of the panel's decision I was really disappointed but they
explained that it didn't sound like my ex's barrister had actually
done anything wrong. They explained that that is how our legal
system works, each side is arguing that they are right and the
other is wrong. So it was the barrister's job to present the facts
in a way that helped their client, and made my argument look less
We don't normally investigate complaints
"I wanted to use the BSB complaints system to complain about the
barrister who is my landlord. He is a dishonest landlord and is
always promising me that things will be fixed and then they aren't.
But my complaint was dismissed straight away because it was part of
his private life and he hadn't tried to use the fact that he was
barrister to intimidate me. Then I found out about the Housing
Ombudsman service, so I'm using that now."
If you need any help in making your complaint
because of a disability or impairment please get in touch with us
straight away using the contact details above to tell us how we can
best help you.
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 such as Braille, large print or on CD. We can
also give you additional time to respond to our enquiries. If
making your complaint in writing is difficult for you, we can take
the details of your complaint over the telephone.
The information in these pages applies
to barristers, and other people we regulate, in England and
The law that regulates barristers and lawyers is
complicated. We have simplified things to give you an idea of how
it applies to your situation. Please don't rely on these pages as a
complete statement of the law.
The quotes and cases we refer to are
not always real but show a typical situation. We hope they help you
to understand the system better and think about what might happen
to the complaint.