Male barristers are more likely to have complaints about them referred for disciplinary action than female barristers, according to a report from the Bar’s regulator.

The Bar Standards Board’s report, Complaints at the Bar, which analysed complaints data between 2012-14, also showed that male barristers are more frequently the subject of an external complaint than female barristers.

While BME (black and minority ethnic) barristers were more likely to be the subject of an internal complaint and to have a complaint closed without investigation than white barristers, they faced disciplinary hearings more frequently.

Past research also indicated that male and ethnic minority barristers were subject to a disproportionate number of complaints.

Commenting on the report’s publication in February, the BSB’s director of professional conduct, Sara Jagger, said: ‘It is pleasing that the report indicates there is no significant difference in complaints-handling between BME and white barristers.

‘We do, however, need to look more carefully at the new findings in relation to the potential issue of gender bias and ensure that we take action to address this.’ 

She said the public and profession can have confidence in the process’s fairness.