Bar Council publishes first ever Bar Handbook: a comprehensive guide to the Bar

THE Bar Council, which represents over 15,000 barristers in England and Wales, has released its first ever Bar Handbook. Published by LexisNexis, the compendium is designed to provide a portable and concise single point of reference for all the guidance and advice published by the Bar Council in its representative capacity. Designed in a user-friendly format which follows the chronology of a career at the Bar, the Handbook will be an invaluable tool for all practitioners, whether QCs or those just setting out on their career at the Bar.


The Handbook, written by Nicholas Bacon (4 New Square) and Simon Garrod (Bar Council), covers the most commonly asked questions dealt with by the Bar Council in its representative rather than its regulatory capacity, for which the independent Bar Standards Board is responsible. The information included ranges from details of a barrister’s professional obligations, parameters of work, permitted charging arrangements, tax and VAT liabilities, insurance, to practice planning and relevant statutory and regulatory references.

The single-volume guide will be updated annually to ensure practitioners remain fully up-to-date with the latest developments. Future editions will provide updates in relation to emerging permitted business models following the enactment of the Legal Services Act 2007.

In addition to being a ready resource in itself, the handbook provides key signposts to repositories of other specialist expertise for those seeking in-depth coverage of particular issues. Whilst primarily conceived as an aid for barristers, the Handbook is also a useful tool for those aspiring to work at or with the Bar, or for those who would simply like a better understanding of the work of a barrister.

Commenting on the release of the Bar Handbook, Chairman of the Bar Tim Dutton QC said: ‘The Bar Council works hard to ensure that all barristers are appropriately guided, and the publication of the Bar Handbook is a key step toward this, as part of the efforts to improve our Member services. Having all the relevant information, spanning practice areas and career stages, in one easy to navigate volume, will be an invaluable tool for all Barristers.’

Josh Bottomley, Managing Director of LexisNexis UK commented: ‘‘The Bar Handbook delivers a go-to source for practising barristers and serves as reference for those aspiring to work in law, or for those who simply want a better understanding of the legal industry. The Handbook will compile details and guidance on multiple aspects of a barrister’s professional obligations, with topics such as parameters of work, Tax and VAT liabilities and good practice/relevant statute included.’

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