New, fairer way of calculating barristers' practising certificate fees announced

25 September 2014

The way in which barristers' Practising Certificate Fees (PCF) are calculated will soon change to become fairer, the Bar Standards Board and Bar Council have announced today.

From 2015, a barrister's PCF will be calculated based on their earnings, not the number of years since they were Called to the Bar. The change - developed following research and consultation during 2012 and 2013 - will harmonise the arrangements for employed and self-employed barristers, providing a fairer method of calculation that is simple and enforceable

Under the new arrangements, all barristers will be required to declare their gross earnings as part of the annual 'Authorisation to Practise' process; the method by which all barristers are required to renew their practising certificates. The PCF is the compulsory fee paid by barristers as part of this process.

There will be six rates of PCF related to income bands ranging from £100 for those whose gross earnings are less than £30,000 to £1,500 for those with gross earnings over £240,001. Earnings during the 2013/14 financial year will be used as the basis for determining the PCF for the 2015/16 year.

In a joint letter from the BSB and Bar Council, which was today sent to all barristers, Chief Executive of the Bar Council Stephen Crowne said:"The new method for calculating the PCF is designed to be simple, fair and enforceable. We know some 62% of barristers surveyed in 2013 favoured an income based PCF model, and even more - 65% - opposed to the continuation of the present method."

Barristers are not required to take any action now. Further instructions will be issued in early 2015.

More information about the new method of calculation and why it is changing is available on the Bar Standards Board website.

The new arrangements were approved by the Legal Services Board (LSB) in October 2013.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

About the Bar Standards Board (BSB)

The BSB's mission is to regulate the Bar so as to promote high standards of practice and safeguard clients and the public interest.

Contact: the Bar Standards Board Press Office on 0207 6111 452.

About the Bar Council

The Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales. It promotes:

  • The Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory services
  • 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.

Contact: the Bar Council Press Office on 020 7222 2525 and Press@BarCouncil.org.uk.