How to access information

We are committed to operating openly and will meet all reasonable requests for information in order to maintain a high level of public trust and confidence in our organisation.

We can provide literature in different formats. If you require this information in a different format, please contact us on 020 7242 0082 or email [email protected].

Freedom of information

Under the Legal Services Act 2007, the Bar Council is also the Approved Regulator (AR) of the Bar of England and Wales. It discharges its regulatory functions through the independent Bar Standards Board (BSB). We are not a ‘public authority’ and so are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. However, in the interests of transparency, we aim to answer enquiries in the spirit of the Act. To make this type of request, please contact the Data Protection Officer on the contact details below.

The UK General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018

The Bar Council and the Bar Standards Board are subject to the UK General Data Project Regulation, the Data Protection Act 2018 and related data protection legislation.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force on 25 May 2018 and applies to all EU member states. It applied to the UK until we left the EU when it was brought into UK legislation by virtue of section 3 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, meaning the same data protection framework continues to apply after Brexit. It lays down rules about the way we process and protect the personal data we hold about you, and includes a number of ‘data subject’ rights. More information about these rights are set out in our privacy statement.

The Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA), also in force on 25 May, sits alongside the UK GDPR. It implements the EU Law Enforcement Directive, as well as extending domestic data protection laws to areas which are not covered by the UK GDPR.

Your right to personal information

You have the right to obtain a copy of the personal information we hold about you, including the reasons why we hold it, how long we keep it and who we might share it with. This is known as a 'subject access' request.

Note that you are entitled only to the information itself, rather than to copies of the actual documents or records in which it is contained.

Disclosure of some information we hold may be exempt from particular provisions of the UK GDPR/DPA. We will tell you if an exemption applies to your request.

How to make a data protection request

Subject access requests do not have to be made in writing, but it is helpful if these are written..

When we receive a request, we will acknowledge receipt of it within three working days. The time limit for responding to ‘subject access requests’ made under data protection legislation is one month, although requests that are complex or numerous may take up to three months. There is normally no charge for making a subject access request, although we may charge a reasonable administrative fee for particularly excessive requests. If we intend to charge a fee, we will notify you of this as soon as we can.

To make a subject access request or request to exercise any other data protection rights, email:  [email protected]

Or write to:

The Data Protection Officer
The Bar Council
289-293 High Holborn
London WC1V 7HZ

When making a request, please include the following details:

  • your name and address, and preferred method of contact
  • the information you want to see
  • the time period to which the information relates
  • any case, application or reference numbers relevant to your request
  • any preference you have for the way you want the information sent to you (for example, hard copy or by email).

What you will receive

We will either:

  • give you the information you’ve asked for
  • confirm that we don’t hold the information, or
  • explain why we cannot give you the information.

If information within a requested document is withheld, the document will be clearly marked to show where information has been removed and the exemption we have used. If we refuse to supply all or part of any other information you have asked for we will write to you giving our reasons for refusal.

If you are unhappy with how we respond to your request for information, you can make a complaint to us – see our Procedure on Data Subjects’ Rights and Complaints - after which you can contact the Information Commissioner’s office if you are still not happy (see below).

Other enquiries

For other types of enquiries, see our Contact us page

The Information Commissioner

The operation of the DPA and UK GDPR is supervised by the Information Commissioner. If you make a request for information and believe we have not dealt with it properly, you can complain to the Information Commissioner. Further details of the role and powers of the Information Commissioner can be obtained by contacting them: