What is a Certificate of Good Standing?

A Certificate of Good Standing is a document issued by the Bar Standards Board which confirms the following:

    • Your full name;
    • Your Inn of Court;
    • The month and year you were called to the Bar;
    • Confirmation of whether you have completed pupillage as a barrister of England and Wales and your current status as a barrister of England and Wales;
    • Whether or not there is any history of professional misconduct during your time as a barrister of England and Wales; and
    • Whether or not you have any active bankruptcies or Individual Voluntary Arrangements.

Why may I need a Certificate of Good Standing?

You may need a Certificate of Good Standing as part of an application you are making as a barrister, for example to qualify in another jurisdiction or undertake a case overseas.

Who can be issued with a Certificate of Good Standing?

Anyone who has been Called to the Bar of England and Wales as a  barrister provided they have not been disbarred, either by request or due to disciplinary action.

What is changing as of 1 April 2022?

From Friday, 1 April 2022, Certificates of Good Standing will be issued by the Bar Standards Board instead of the Bar Council. The fee per Certificate will be £36 (Inclusive of VAT) each.  Payment must be received in full before issue of the certificate.

The fee per Certificate for overseas barristers will be £30 each (no VAT).  The fee must be received in full without any deduction of bank fees.  Applicants should ensure they transfer sufficient funds to cover the fee plus any international bank fees.  Failure to do so will delay the issue of the certificate.

Why is it changing?

As the issuing of Certificates of Good Standing is a regulatory matter, the BSB and Bar Council have agreed to make this change to enable us to comply with the Internal Governance Rules that we are bound by under the Legal Services Act of 2007.

Who should I contact to request a Certificate?

The BSB has set up a direct telephone line (please use this in the first instance) that will be available from 10am-4pm, and email address, for Certificate requests and any other questions:

Telephone – 020 7611 1359

Email – goodstanding@BarStandardsBoard.org.uk

How long will it take to issue my Certificate?

Certificates will be issued within five working days from request, pending any exceptional circumstances.

How will you issue my Certificate?

Starting from 1 April 2022, Certificates of Good Standing will be issued in electronic form only. If validation of a Certificate is required, this can be provided on request.

How long will my Certificate be valid for?

There will no longer be a validity period on the Certificate, which is a change from the previous validity period of three months. They will be considered accurate as at the date of issue.

How can I obtain a Certificate of Good Standing while the BSB IT systems are partially restored?

Until our IT systems are completely restored, for Certificates of Good Standing, please email goodstanding@barstandardsboard.org.uk.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to seek to complete the restoration of our IT systems.