19 August 2018

Part IX - Compliance

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

This section sets out the duty to inform the Bar Standards Board in the event of criminal convictions, bankruptcy etc and the duties concerning the complaints procedure.

901.1 Any failure by a barrister to comply with the provisions of paragraph 202 (a) to (d), 203(1)(a), 204(b), 402, 403.5(b)(c) and (d), 404, 405, 406, 408, 701, 801(a), 804 or 905(a)(i), (d) or (e) of this Code (to the extent that the rule or rules in question apply to him, as to which see paragraphs 105A and 105C above1) or with the training requirements imposed by the Bar Training Regulations2 in force at the date of his Call to the Bar or with the Continuing Professional Development Regulations or the Practising Certificate Regulations (other than paragraph 8 thereof)3 shall render him liable to a written warning from the Bar Standards Board and/or the imposition of a fixed financial penalty of £300 (or such other sum as may be prescribed by the Bar Standards Board from time to time) or any financial penalty prescribed by the said Regulations for non-compliance therewith. Liability under this paragraph is strict.

901.2 Any failure by a barrister to pay a financial penalty within the time prescribed by the Regulations or stipulated by the Bar Standards Board (or any extension thereof) shall constitute professional misconduct.

901.3 In the event that a barrister is given a written warning by the Bar Standards Board, or a financial penalty is imposed upon him for an infringement of the aforementioned provisions of the Code, the barrister shall have a right of appeal to a panel under the provisions of paragraph 23 (3) and (4) of the Disciplinary Rules. The time for bringing such an appeal shall be 28 days from the date upon which the written warning or notice seeking payment of the penalty is deemed to have been received by the Barrister. However, unless the Bar Standards Board agrees or the appeal panel otherwise rules, an appeal shall not operate as a suspension of the requirement to pay the financial penalty or an extension of the time for so doing.

901.4 Any failure by a barrister to comply with the provisions of paragraph 202 of the Code shall constitute professional misconduct if the barrister concerned has failed take the necessary action to cure any relevant non-compliance with the preconditions to practise set out therein, or has failed to pay any financial penalty imposed on him within any time limit prescribed by the relevant Regulations or specified by the Bar Standards Board (or any extension thereof).

901.54  

(1) Any serious failure to comply with the provisions of the Code referred to in paragraph 901.1 above shall constitute professional misconduct.

(2) A failure to comply with those provisions may be a serious failure:

a. due to the nature of the failure; or

b. due to the extent of the failure; or

c. because the failure in question is combined with a failure to comply with any other provision of the Code (whether or not that provision is mentioned in paragraph 901.1); ord. if the barrister has previously failed to comply with the same or any other provision of the Code (whether or not that provision is mentioned in paragraph 901.1).

901.6 If a barrister is given two or more separate written warnings by  the Bar Standards Board in a period of three years for infringement of any  of the provisions of the Code referred to in paragraph 901.1, or is  subjected to an automatic financial penalty for any failure to  comply with any such provision of the Code on two separate occasions within a period of three years, then any further failure  by him to comply with the provisions of the Code within a period  of two years after the later of the written warnings or financial  penalties shall constitute professional misconduct even if that  failure, taken by itself, would not otherwise be regarded as  professional misconduct.

901.7  Any failure by a barrister to comply with any provision of this Code other than those referred to in paragraph 901.1 above shall constitute professional misconduct.

901.85 It shall be misconduct under this Code for a barrister to be convicted of misconduct under the rules of another Approved Regulator and the barrister shall be liable to disciplinary action by the Bar Standards Board accordingly. 

902. If the declaration made by a barrister on Call to the Bar is found to have been false in any material respect or if the barrister is found to have engaged before Call in conduct which is dishonest or otherwise discreditable to a barrister and which was not, before Call, fairly disclosed in writing to the Benchers of the Inn calling him or if any undertaking given by a barrister on Call to the Bar is breached in any material respect that shall constitute professional misconduct.

903. A barrister is subject to:

a. the Complaints Rules (reproduced in Annex J);

b. the Disciplinary Tribunals Regulations (reproduced in Annex K);

c. the Summary Procedure Rules (reproduced in Annex L);

d. the Hearings before the Visitors Rules (reproduced in Annex M);

e. the Interim Suspension Rules (reproduced at Annex N);

f. the Fitness to Practise Rules (reproduced at Annex O);

g. the Adjudication Panel and Appeals Rules (reproduced at Annex P) which are concerned with inadequate professional service.

904. Pursuant to the Rules referred to in paragraph 903 a barrister may be directed to provide redress to a lay client for inadequate professional service whether or not such inadequate professional service also constitutes professional misconduct.

905. A barrister must:

a. if he is practising, or the Bar Council or Bar Standards Board1 has reason to believe may be practising, as a barrister:

i. respond promptly to any requirement from the Bar Council or Bar Standards Board1 for comments on or documents relating to the arrangements made for administering his practice and chambers or office whether or not any complaint has been received or raised arising out of those arrangements;

ii. permit the Bar Council or Bar Standards Board1 or any agent appointed by them to inspect forthwith and on request and at any time which is reasonable having regard to the circumstances and the urgency of the matter any premises from which he practises or is believed to practise as a barrister the arrangements made for administering his practice and chambers or office, and any records relating to such practice and to the administration of his chambers or office.

iii.5give the Legal Ombudsman all such reasonable assistance requested of them, in connection with the investigation, consideration and determination of complaints under the Ombudsman scheme.

b. report promptly to the Bar Standards Board1 if:

i. he is a manager of a Recognised Body which is the subject of an intervention by the Approved Regulator of that body;6

ii. he is charged with an indictable7 offence;

iii. he is convicted of any relevant criminal offence; or

iv. he is charged with a disciplinary offence by another Approved Regulator or professional body; or6

v. he is convicted of a disciplinary offence by another professional body;

c. report promptly to the Bar Standards Board if;

i. bankruptcy proceedings are initiated in respect of or against him;

ii. directors disqualification proceedings are initiated against him;

iii. a bankruptcy order or directors disqualification order is made against him; or

iv. if he enters into an individual voluntary arrangement with his creditors;

d. where a complaint about a barrister has been made to or by the Bar Standards Board, or where the Bar Standards Board has reasonable grounds for believing that a breach of this Code may have occurred or is about to occur, or where a circumstance referred to in sub-paragraph (b) or (c) above has been reported to the Bar Standards Board, respond promptly to any request from the Bar Standards Board for comments or information on the matter whether it relates to him or to another barrister;

e. respond promptly to any letter of notification sent to him or attend before any tribunal panel body or person when so required pursuant to the rules referred to in paragraph 903;

f. comply in due time with any sentence or suspension imposed or direction made or undertaking accepted by a tribunal panel body or person pursuant to the rules referred to in paragraph 903.

provided for the avoidance of doubt that nothing in this paragraph shall require a barrister to disclose or produce any document or information protected by law or in circumstances to which paragraph 702, or the equivalent rule of another Approved Regulator to which he is subject6, applies.

1Amended 26th March 2010
2Bar Training Regulations effective from 1st September 2009
3Amended 11th November 2010
4Amended 18th March 2008
5Effective from 6th October 2010
6Effective from 26th March 2010
7Effective from 20th June 2008