The Bar Standards Board regulates barristers but it also
regulates a number of other people, on this page you will find a
description of all of the people we regulate.
Barristers are specialist legal advisers and court room
advocates. They are trained to advise clients on the strengths and
weaknesses of their case. They have specialist knowledge and
experience in and out of court.
There are many barristers who do not have a practising
certificate either by choice or because they do not qualify for a
Such barristers are called "Unregistered Barristers" because
they are not on the public register of barristers who have
practising certificates. Many unregistered barristers will have
chosen careers other than law or may be retired.
Even though the rules which apply only to practising barristers
do not apply to them, all unregistered barristers remain members of
the profession and members of their Inn and are expected to conduct
themselves in an appropriate manner. They remain subject to certain
Core Duties and Conduct Rules at all times. If they provide legal
services, they must comply with all the Core Duties and they have a
responsibility not to mislead anyone about their status.
This guidance will assist unregistered barristers to
comply with their obligations contained in the BSB Handbook.
A BSB Authorised Body is a company or law firm regulated by the
Bar Standards Board, it will have a focus on advocacy, litigation
or specialist legal advice.
The Legal Services Act provides for a particular type of
Authorised Body called an Alternative Business Structure (ABS)
which has lay owners/managers. We are not yet able to authorise
In the meantime all of the owners and managers of a BSB
Authorised Body must be lawyers authorised by the Legal Services
Act 2007, but they do not need to be barristers.
We also regulate the managers, owners, partners, directors, Head
of Legal Practice and Head of Finance and Administration of BSB
We regulate nationals of European Union Member States who are
authorised in any Member State to practise as a lawyer and are
registered with the BSB.
We are able to take some regulatory action against the direct or
indirect employees of BSB Authorised Bodies, Practising Barristers
and Registered European Lawyers. We are able to take limited action
against these employees by applying to temporarily or permanently
disqualify them from certain activities and to prevent any BSB
Authorised Bodies, Practising Barristers and Registered European
Lawyers from appointing them or employing them.
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.