The Bar Council provides a confidential Ethical Enquiries Service to assist barristers (and, where appropriate, their clerks and other staff connected with barristers' professional practices) to identify, interpret and comply with their professional obligations under the BSB Handbook. Please note: this service does not give legal advice.
Call the Ethical Enquiries line on 020 7611 1307
Lines are open 09:15-17:15 Monday-Friday
You will receive a response within four working days.
The Bar Council also publishes documents on its Ethics & Practice Hub which is intended to assist barristers on matters of conduct and ethics in particular types of situation.
Please note the limitations of the service as set out below.
Where possible, the Bar Council encourages members of the Bar to talk ethical issues through with peers and senior practitioners before using the service.
The Bar Council offers a confidential equality and diversity helpline to all pupils and members of the Bar.
Call the Equality and Diversity helpline on 020 7611 1426
Our team can provide assistance on the following topics:
For individuals, we can provide confidential support and advice to members of the profession, staff and members of chambers, employed barristers, pupils and Bar students about any equality and diversity, parental leave or bullying and harassment issue.
For chambers, we can provide advice on:
- Implementing all aspects of the Equality and Diversity Rules in the BSB Handbook
- Making reasonable adjustments and making chambers and services accessible to people with disabilities
- Handling complaints and supporting members and staff
What happens when you call the line:
If you call this number you will be put through to a member of the Bar Council's Equality and Diversity team, they are responsible for equality and diversity issues including sexual harassment at the Bar. At no point will you be required to give your name or the name of your chambers. Whoever you speak to will be able to provide advice and support on what you should do next, but you will not be required to do anything, you can simply discuss your options.
If you would like additional support, you will be put in touch with a member of our Equality, Diversity and Social Mobility Committee. You will be told the name of the person you are being put in touch with first, and you can ask to speak to someone else if you wish (we make sure you have a choice so you don't have to speak to someone you know or someone from your chambers).
Any barrister member of the committee you speak to has a special exemption from BSB reporting requirements and is able to provide advice without being required to report the incident to the BSB.
Please note that we are unable to provide legal advice.
The Pupils' Helpline gives confidential advice and support to members of the Bar who are currently undertaking their pupillage by putting them in touch with an experienced and independent barrister who can help with problems encountered during pupillage.
To access the helpline, call 020 7611 1415 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For this reason, the Bar Council has established a panel of advisers to offer pupils a confidential and objective advice service. All of the advisers are barristers of at least five years' call who have received training from the Bar Council. Contact can be made, anonymously if wished, by email or telephone.
The Bar Council will put pupils who wish to discuss a problem in confidence in contact with an appropriate adviser.
The online tool for the Bar to confidentially report inappropriate behaviour
There is no place for bullying, harassment or discrimination at the Bar, and yet many incidents still go unreported and unchallenged. To address this problem, the Bar Council is working with Spot, an online tool for confidentially reporting instances of bullying, harassment and discrimination, to give the profession a secure, constructive process for dealing with such behaviour. The Spot tool allows you to record and (if required) report inappropriate behaviour, bullying, harassment and discrimination.