To be able to call themselves a barrister, a person has to have
completed special training and have certain qualifications. In the
sections below we explain who can call themselves a barrister, how
to check that they are qualified and the different ways barristers
Who can call themselves a barrister?
How can I tell if a barrister is allowed to
How do barristers work?
What is a chambers?
What is an entity?
A barrister is someone who has been Called to the Bar of England
and Wales, after completing a law degree (or equivalent
qualification) and the Bar Professional Training Course. People who
have done the right training can call themselves a barrister, but
to be able to provide certain legal services as a barrister, they
have to have a practising certificate from the BSB.
If you learn that the person you are dealing with is pretending to
be a barrister, you should let us know immediately. This is against
the law. In some cases we may refer matters to the police.
You can check if a barrister is allowed to practise by entering
their name on our Barristers' Register. The register can be found
on our website.
Many barristers are self-employed, and work with other
barristers in offices called chambers. A few barristers work
through a special company or partnership which we call an "entity".
Some barristers are employed to work for companies and
organisations, but it is unlikely you would be seeking legal help
A chambers is a place where barristers work, either with other
barristers or on their own. Although barristers are self-employed,
they may work together with other barristers in the same place. You
may contact a chambers about getting a barrister to work for you,
and they can assign your work to a suitable barrister.
An entity is a company or partnership that provides legal
services. These can include providing you with the service of a
barrister. There are special rules that apply to entities.
The advantage of using an entity could be that if it has both
barristers and solicitors working in the same entity, all your work
could be taken care of in one place. However, whether a barrister
works in chambers or as part of an entity should not make any
difference to the service you receive as a client. Barristers who
work for an entity still have to follow the same rules and have the
same professional duties.