Members of the Bar will remember that we asked you to support the Bar Council by paying the Bar Representation Fee (BRF) this year. The BRF is critically important to funding our work in representing your interests and lobbying our work. We simply cannot function as a representative body, with our current scope of work, without this income.
This year, 8,818 barristers have paid their BRF through the Authorisation to Practise process. Given that the current total number of practising barristers is 16,376, this figure represents 53.7% of the Bar, up from 52% last year. We were also grateful that 540 barristers chose to pay more than the minimum, annual £100 for the BRF.
When I ask barristers why they pay the BRF, many tell me that it is because it is the Bar Council's "fighting fund". The BRF is what they know will fund the important work we do to raise awareness of the Bar's needs in Westminster and Whitehall, and enable us to focus on social mobility projects, on equality and diversity, on digital projects that support the Bar (like the Ethics Hub and the Young Bar Hub) and on various initiatives that promote and support the profession.
Please continue to fight for your professional body so that it can fight on your behalf - you can pay the BRF at any time by logging into My Bar or by contacting the Services team by email Services@BarCouncil.org.uk or phone 020 7611 1329.
Dr Isabel DiVanna
Commercial Director, The Bar Council.