The annual Authorisation to Practise (AtP) process is now open for barristers to renew their practising certificates, subscribe to the Bar Council’s voluntary Bar Representation Fee (BRF), make a number of regulatory declarations to the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and update other details.

The PCF paid by individual barristers depends on their income in the preceding year. So, in 2021 it is determined by earnings in 2020. As many barristers’ incomes have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, both the Bar Council, the profession’s representative body, and the BSB, the Bar’s regulator, have budgeted accordingly in anticipation that many barristers may be in lower PCF income bands this year. The level of PCF due from each barrister in each income band is the same as it was in 2020.

The Bar Council – who are responsible for collecting the PCF – have confirmed that those who pay their PCF via “block payments” may again do so by paying in two instalments with a minimum 50% first instalment due by 31 March and the second balance payment due by 30 September. More information is available here. 

Approximately 70% of practising certificate fees go to the regulators (BSB, Legal Services Board and Legal Ombudsman), and the proportion that helps fund the Bar Council covers only 64% of the income we need to effectively support the Bar. The remaining funds are generated by our services, training and events portfolios, generous contributions from the Inns of Court and, most importantly, the BRF (£12.50 a month).

Find out more about how the Bar Council is funded, its work in representing the interests of the Bar and how you can Back the Bar.

Barristers are required to complete the AtP process via the MyBar portal by 31 March 2021. Instructions on how to complete this year’s process will be emailed directly to barristers’ practices over the next few days.


Notes to editors

About Authorisation to Practise

The PCF varies depending on how much income a barrister earned in the previous calendar year. Please see below for the 2021-22 PCF rates.


Income Band

2020/21 Fees


£0 - £30,000



£30,001 - £60,000



£60,001- £90,000



£90,001 - £150,000



£150,001 - £240,000



£240,001 - £500,000



£500,001 - £1,000,000



£1,000,001 and above