The Barristers' Foundation
The Barristers’ Foundation is a charity set up by the Bar Council in 2019 to:
(i) support barristers (and prospective barristers) who may be disadvantaged within the workplace, thereby supporting diversity in the profession;
(ii) support access to justice by increasing understanding of the justice system and where necessary providing access to free legal advice; and
(iii) support the rule of law in the public’s interest.
The Bar Council recognises that barristers work directly with clients and play an integral role in access to justice for all and that barristers provide a public service often working with people at the worst times in their lives and dealing with distressing situations. The health and wellbeing of the profession, therefore, has a direct impact on its ability to provide this vital service and the charity is established to ensure that barristers are supported in this.
The Foundation’s charitable objectives are:
- To advance the mental health and wellbeing of barristers in England & Wales, and their dependents.
- To advance the education of barristers in mental health by the provision of a website, lectures, events and by the publication of newsletters and blogs devoted to wellbeing and mental health.
- The promotion of equality and diversity across the profession including by:
The elimination of discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation or religion;
Advancing education, training and raising awareness in equality and diversity;
Promoting activities to foster understanding between people from diverse backgrounds;
Supporting access, retention and progression to the profession of those from under represented backgrounds or groups, including women, those with an ethnic minority heritage, those with disabilities, those from lower-socio economic groups;
Cultivating a sentiment in favour of equality and diversity.
- The advancement of the education of the public in matters relating to the law, access to justice, social justice, the legal profession and the rule of law.
- To promote and support organisations and schemes within England & Wales and internationally that provide, facilitate and support access to, and the provision of, free, legal assistance to those in need because of financial disadvantage/low levels of awareness/understanding of the law.
Through The Barristers’ Foundation, the Bar Council now offers an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), provided by Health Assured, which can be accessed by all self-employed barristers with a practising certificate as well as members of the Institute of Barristers' Clerks (IBC) and Legal Practice Managers' Association (LPMA). Under the EAP, You can access assistance by calling the confidential telephone service to discuss emotional and practical problems. You will also have access to online services, providing information and assistance with common health concerns.
To access the online portal and for more information on the services available under this new EAP, please visit the Wellbeing at the Bar website. The EAP has been generously funded by the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund (BMIF).
The Barristers’ Foundation’s Trustees
- Malcolm Cree CBE, Chief Executive of the Bar Council
- Grant Warnsby, Treasurer of the Bar Council
- Natalie Zara, Head of Governance at the Bar Council.
For more information about The Barristers’ Foundation, contact Natalie Zara, Head of Governance at the Bar Council on Nzara@BarCouncil.org.uk.