23 September 2019

Part I - Preliminary

From 6 January 2014 the Bar should refer to a  new Handbook for rules and guidance on their conduct as barristers.

The Preliminary section sets out the details about the commencement of the Code, the rules governing amendments to the Code, the general purpose of the Code, to whom it applies and our powers to waive its provisions.

Quick Links

 101. The Eighth Edition of the Code was adopted by the Bar Council on 18 September 2004 and came into force on 31st October 2004.

102. This Code includes the Annexes.

103.  Amendments and additions to this Code may be made by Resolution of the Bar Standards Board which shall be operative upon such date as the Resolution shall appoint or if no such date is appointed on the later of:

(a) the date of the Resolution; and

(b) the date when approval of the amendment or addition, if required, is given by the Legal Services Board under Schedule 4 of the Legal Services Act 2007.

 Amendments and additions will be published from time to time in such manner as the Bar Standards Board may determine.

General purpose of the Code

104. The general purpose of this Code is to provide the requirements for practice as a barrister and the rules and standards of conduct applicable to barristers which are appropriate in the interests of justice and in particular:

(a) in relation to self-employed barristers to provide common and enforceable rules and standards which require them:

(i) to be completely independent in conduct and in professional standing as sole practitioners;

(ii) to act only as consultants instructed by solicitors and other approved persons (save where instructions can be properly dispensed with);

(iii) to acknowledge a public obligation based on the paramount need for access to justice to act for any client in cases within their field of practice;

(b) to make appropriate provision for:

(i)  barrister managers, employees and owners of Authorised Bodies ; and

(ii) employed barristers taking into account the fact that such barristers are employed to provide legal services to or on behalf of their employer.

Back to top

Application of the Code

105. A barrister must comply with this Code which (save as otherwise provided) applies to all barristers whenever called to the Bar.

105A. Part IV applies only to self-employed barristers.

105B. 2Section 1 of Part V applies only to employed barristers.

105C.1 Only Parts I, II, III, Section 2 of Part V, rules 606.1, 607, 608,  701(a), 701(b)(i), 704, 705, 708, 708.1 and Parts VIII, IX, X and   XI apply to barristers practising as managers or employees of  Recognised Bodies regulated by another Approved Regulator  when doing work of a sort that the body is permitted to do.

105C.2 In so applying, rule 606.1 is to be read as if it referred to a  barrister or the Authorised Body  being retained rather than  receiving instructions.

106. Subject to the International Practice Rules (reproduced in Annex A) this Code applies to International work and whether a barrister is practising in England and Wales or elsewhere.

107. A registered European lawyer must comply with this Code in the manner provided for by the Registered European Lawyers Rules (reproduced in Annex B).

Waiver of the Code

108. The Bar Standards Board shall have the power to waive the duty imposed on a barrister to comply with the provisions of this Code in such circumstances and to such extent as the Bar Standards Board may think fit and either conditionally or unconditionally.