News and press releases

  • 10 March 2016 - Despite recently announced changes to the Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT), which include raising the pass mark, the Bar Council believes the test is still inadequate as a mechanism to filter applicants who have no prospect of obtaining pupillage or practising as a barrister. Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC, Chairman of the Bar, said: “Over 1,500 students enrol on the BPTC each year, which costs between £12,000 and £19,000 in tuition fees alone, but there are only around 400 pupillages available.

  • 7 March 2016 - The Bar Council has stepped up its efforts to tackle any residual sexual harassment in the profession, now with a guide to help chambers.

  • 2 March 2016 - Despite claims that new surveillance laws will contain ‘protections for lawyers’, today’s Investigatory Powers Bill will allow authorities total access to confidential, legally privileged communications between individuals and their lawyers, even when someone is in a legal dispute with the Government or defending themselves against prosecution.

  • 2 March 2016 - Peter Carter QC, Chair of the Bar Council Surveillance and Privacy Working Group said:“The Government claims to have responded to the Joint Committee’s recommendation that protections for legal privilege should appear on the face of the Bill and meet the standards required by common law and Convention case law. In fact, they have done the opposite.

  • 29 February 2016 - What is it the Bar Council does? Here's a glimpse of just some of the work we have done in January 2016

  • 29 February 2016 - What is it the Bar Council does? Here's a glimpse of just some of the work we have done in February 2016

  • 26 February 2016 - US authorities could access legally privileged information held by barristers in England and Wales, the Bar Council has warned its members. Guidance issued to all barristers in England and Wales, explains that the Patriot Act and other surveillance laws could allow US authorities to access confidential, legally privileged data held in the cloud and on external back up services which use computers owned by US corporations.

  • 25 February 2016 - The Bar Council has responded to today's proposals from the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary that would prohibit the remuneration of McKenzie Friends. Chairman of the Bar, Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC said:"McKenzie friends are unregulated, uninsured and mostly unqualified, and the Bar Council agrees that they should not be allowed to charge people for legal services.