Bar Council Launches 'BARCO': Working with the Bar has Never Been Easier
27 September 2012
The Bar Council, which represents barristers in England and
Wales, will this evening, at the Rolls Building, launch a unique
new service. 'BARCO' provides a straightforward, easily accessible,
client-focused facility, whilst maintaining the Bar's high quality
and cost effective services.
BARCO is a third party escrow account which receives money from
clients under a contractual arrangement relating to the ongoing
provision of legal services. The payment of funds from the escrow
account is determined by this agreement, allowing barristers to
offer a full range of legal services without breaching the Code of
Conduct and handling client money themselves, making it easier than
ever to work with the Bar.
BARCO delivers a simple and secure system, operated through one
of the world's leading financial institutions, for handling client
payments and provides flexibility and adaptability, enabling the
Bar to offer even better value competitive legal services.
BARCO will launch formally in 2013 after a national road show of
the Bar this autumn and an initial pilot phase.
Michael Todd QC, Chairman of the Bar, said:
"I am delighted to be launching BARCO which, we believe, will be
one of the most important developments in the legal services sector
since the Legal Services Act came into force.
"Demand for barristers' advocacy and advisory services is
growing all over the world. Domestic and international clients of
all sizes, which regularly turn to the Bar, need a trustworthy and
transparent vehicle to manage payment of their legal and litigation
"BARCO puts the Bar on a level-playing field, whether through
the traditional referral model, offering Public Access services,
or, in the future, structuring itself as an entity.
"BARCO is more than simply a bank account. It provides clients
with the facility seamlessly to access the full range of the Bar's
high quality services, and it enables the Bar to change its
business without changing the way it does business.
"The Bar is a forward-looking and modern profession which can
tailor its services to ensure it remains relevant to its diverse
and growing client base, and BARCO provides an ideal platform
through which the Bar can handle its financial affairs.
"It is a significant investment in the Bar's future. It is good
for clients, good for the Bar and good for competition in the legal
Notes to editors:
1. For further information, please contact the Bar Council
Press Office on 020 7222 2525 or Press@BarCouncil.org.uk.
2. More information on BARCO is available at:
3. BARCO is applying to be regulated by the Financial
Services Authority (FSA) and intends to comply with the regulatory
obligations arising from the Payment Services Regulations 2009. All
funds are to be held in a ring-fenced account with Barclays Bank.
BARCO remains subject to any approval process arising from the new
Bar Standards Board (BSB) Handbook.
4. The Member Services Department of the Bar Council has
designed and created BARCO. The Bar Council provides a wide
range of benefits to members of the Bar through the Member Services
Department, including a portfolio of tailored products and
services, specialised training courses and sector conferences.
5. The Bar Council represents barristers in England and
Wales. It promotes:
• The Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory
• Fair access to justice for all
• The highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity
across the profession, and
• The development of business opportunities for barristers at
home and abroad.
The General Council of the Bar is the Approved Regulator of the
Bar of England and Wales. It discharges its regulatory functions
through the independent Bar Standards Board.