The General Council for the Bar (the Bar Council) is the barristers' regulatory body. The Bar Council set up the Bar Standards Board (BSB) as the independent regulatory board of the Bar Council, with responsibility for regulating barristers called to the Bar in England and Wales. They can deal with complaints about barristers' professional misconduct or inadequate professional service.
The BSB will normally expect you to try to resolve the matter directly with the barrister or their 'chambers'. You may want the advice of your solicitor or a Citizen's Advice Bureau to help you with this.
Like solicitors, barristers are required to have complaints procedures or policies. You should complain to the barrister within any time limits set out in your barrister's complaints procedure.
If your barrister or the chambers fail to resolve the matter satisfactorily you must refer the matter to the BSB within three months of receiving the barrister's response to your complaint and within six months of whatever it is you are complaining about. If the barrister you want to complain about is no longer practising or you cannot contact him or her, you can submit your complaint directly to the BSB.
You must complain on the BSB's standard form, which you can download from their website (see contact details below) or you can request a copy from the BSB's complaints telephone service on 020 7611 1455.
There are two types of complaints that can be referred to the BSB:
If your complaint is upheld, you may be awarded compensation if it relates to IPS. If the IPS complained about took place before 1 July 2008, the most compensation a panel can order is £5,000. If it was on or after 1 July 2008, the compensation limit is £15,000. The barrister can be dealt with summarily or referred to a tribunal that has the power, in very serious cases, to disbar the barrister.
Bar Standards Board
289-293 High Holborn
DX: 240 LDE
Tel: 020 7611 1444
Fax: 020 7831 9217