Privacy statement

The Bar Council ("we/us/our") is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy.

This policy (together with our terms and conditions of use and any other documents referred to) sets out the basis on which any personal data we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us. Please read the following carefully to understand our views and practices regarding your personal data and how we will treat it.

For the purpose of the Data Protection Act 1998 (the Act), the data controller is The General Council of the Bar of 289-293 High Holborn, London WC1V 7HZ.

This Privacy Policy sets out the data processing practices carried out by us, including through the use of the internet, all websites operated by us and the Bar Standards Board (BSB), and any other electronic communications networks such as the Barrister Connect (together "our Site"). If you have any requests concerning your personal information or any queries with regard to our personal data processing practices please contact our Data Protection Officer at

Meeting your needs

We can provide our literature in different formats. If you would like this information in a different format, please contact us on 020 7242 0082 or email

Information collected

We collect personal information from visitors to our Site through the use of online forms, including, but not limited to, information about you, which you provide to us through the input areas within our Site such as the practising certificate renewal form on Barrister Connect.

We also collect information about you every time you email us with your details, and we collect additional information automatically about your visits to our Site.

The information we collect may include: name, postal and email address, telephone numbers (work, home and mobile), and diversity monitoring information which we collect for the purposes of discharging our statutory obligations.

We may collect information about your computer, including where available your IP address, operating system and browser type, for system administration and to report aggregate information to our advertisers. This is statistical data about our users' browsing actions and patterns, and does not identify any individual.

We may also use and disclose other information in aggregate for research, marketing and strategic development purposes.

We may also ask you to complete surveys used for research purposes, which you are not obliged to complete but which will be completely confidential and analysed anonymously. Data from research will also be destroyed once it has been analysed and written up in a report.

If you contact us in any other way (for example by post, telephone, fax) we may keep a record of that contact.

We may have cause to contact you by letter, telephone, email or otherwise in relation to the purposes specified in this Privacy Policy. It is, therefore, of fundamental importance that you ensure that your records are kept up to date in accordance with the Code of Conduct, by updating your details via Barrister Connect or by informing the Records Office at of any change in your circumstances.

By submitting your personal information you consent to us processing your personal information in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

Use of personal information

We will use personal information, as provided by you or appropriately obtained from third parties (including persons duly authorised by you to provide such information on your behalf), for the purposes listed below:

  • to inform you about developments within, or pertaining to, the profession in discharging our Representational and Regulatory functions
  • to provide guidance and advice in relation to both Representational and Regulatory matters
  • for the management and support of Representational and Regulatory committees (including enabling our committee members to access papers and post comments)
  • for the investigation of complaints
  • to create and keep updated the Bar Directory/Legal Hub Online Directory and Barristers' Register
  • to complete authorisation to practise forms and procedures (including calculation and payment of practising certificate fee)
  • to enable persons with delegated responsibility for your chambers/employer to complete authorisation to practise forms and procedures on your behalf
  • for applications, such as an extension of time to complete CPD hours, or QASA (Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates) to determine the level to practise advocacy
  • for the administration and provision of both education and training services and events
  • for the administration of other events such as the Bar Conference and road shows
  • for public relations and marketing purposes directly relating to the profession
  • for the administration of membership records, including member services, membership card, Xexec and Counsel magazine subscriptions
  • to keep you up to date with the range of member services, including products and benefits
  • to change mailing preferences in relation to purposes other than our Representational or Regulatory functions
  • to raise funds for charities promoting access to justice or pro bono legal representation
  • to update personal data, including diversity monitoring data for the purposes of satisfying our statutory duties and meeting our regulatory objectives, and
  • in any other respect that we may reasonably require in order to carry out Representational and Regulatory functions or to provide a specific service requested.

Sensitive personal information

We are committed to ensuring that access to the Bar should be equally open to all, irrespective of ethnicity, gender, disability, age, marriage and civil partnership, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief and/or socio-economic background. In order to achieve this, as well as to fulfil our statutory equality obligations, we need to monitor the data trends of those entering the Bar so that we can gain a better understanding of how people from a range of backgrounds progress in their careers. We therefore strongly encourage you to submit this information.

We may ask you to submit sensitive personal information, e.g. your ethnic origin or disability information. This information is requested to enable us to meet requirements under the Equality Act 2010. By submitting such sensitive personal information to us, you explicitly consent to the collection and processing of your sensitive personal information in accordance with this Privacy Policy. By submitting such sensitive personal information to us, you agree to us processing such information for the purposes described.

Use of sensitive personal information

Your sensitive personal information will:

  • only be used for the purposes of equal opportunities monitoring and other legal requirements
  • be kept confidential within the Bar Council and Bar Standards Board and will not be passed to anyone who deals with any aspect of your relationship with the Bar Council (for example, in respect of applications for pupillage or consideration of any complaints against you)
  • be destroyed if you are not Called to the Bar within five years, or if you are disbarred or if you subsequently request it, and
  • not be released in a form that may result in identification of individuals. Anonymised analyses may be published on the Bar Council and BSB websites.

If we alter these stipulated purposes we will notify you and will destroy your sensitive personal information if you request us to do so in the light of that.

If you require further information as to why the Bar Council gathers diversity data from you, please contact the Equality and Diversity team at the Bar Council on 020 7611 1320 or email

Storage and security of personal data

We will take all necessary reasonable steps to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this Privacy Policy. All our employees are personally responsible for maintaining personal information confidentiality. We provide education and training to all our staff to remind them about their obligations. Our policies and procedures are audited and reviewed. All information that you provide to us is stored on our secure servers. Any payment transactions will be encrypted (using SSL technology). Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our Site; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.

Data Protection accountability

The Bar Council has appointed a Data Protection Officer responsible for the processing of personal data:

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

The Bar Council has formally notified the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) of its personal data processing. These details are publicly available via the ICO website ( Our registration number is Z6471364.

Use of cookies

We may use cookies on our Site. A cookie is a small piece of information sent by a web server to a web browser, which enables the server to collect information from the browser. This small piece of information will be revealed to us when you visit our Site. Find out more about the use of cookies on:

We use cookies to identify you when you visit our Site and monitor your use of our Site, including in order to determine the time of submission of your application. Other than as stated in this Privacy Policy we do not use cookies to collect other additional information about you.

The law about cookies changed in May 2011. Websites must get your agreement before they set a cookie on your computer or handheld device. We are working to find the best way to get your agreement to set cookies without disrupting your experience of our Site.

In the meantime, you should be aware that most browsers allow you to turn off cookies or to receive a warning before a cookie is stored on your hard drive. Please refer to your browser instructions or help screen to learn more about how to do this. However, please note that should you decide to disable any cookies we place on your computer you may not be able to use certain services or facilities on our Site.

Disclosures and sharing information

We will follow the appropriate legal requirements to ensure that no third parties see your personal information except as set out in this Privacy Policy.

Certain Acts of Parliament oblige us to disclose information about our members to certain bodies with statutory powers. For example, we may be required to provide information to the Legal Services Ombudsman and the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner.

Your information may also be shared with Specialist Bar Associations, Circuits and Inns in order to keep their records up to date and administer your relationship with them.

Sometimes we also need to provide information to external agencies so that they can provide a particular service for us, such as the production of the Bar Directory, Bar membership card or Xexec. In these circumstances we always ensure that the information is safe and secure, and that the contracted parties abide by the provisions of applicable data protection laws.

We may contact you by letter, telephone, email or otherwise to acquaint you with a matter of potential benefit and interest to you both personally and professionally as a barrister.

Your rights

Marketing communications

You have the right to ask us not to process your personal data for marketing purposes. We will usually inform you (before collecting your data) if we intend to use your data for such purposes or if we intend to disclose your information to any third party for such purposes. You can exercise your right to prevent such processing in a number of ways including: choosing your initial preferences when registering via Barrister Connect, changing your chosen preferences via Barrister Connect, or by using the unsubscribe link at the bottom of marketing communications you may receive. You can also opt out of our use of your personal information specifically for marketing purposes by informing the Records Office by writing to us at 289-293 High Holborn, London WC1V 7HZ or by emailing

Should you choose to opt out of marketing communications you will be foregoing the opportunity to find out about a burgeoning range of opportunities that have been negotiated on behalf of the profession by the Member Services team.

Access to your information

The Act affords you the right of access to the personal information we hold about you and further permits us to charge you a fee of £10 for providing this service. If you wish to exercise this right you should submit a subject access request, together with the fee, to the Bar Council's Data Protection Officer at the address provided above. If it transpires that any information we hold is inaccurate or incorrect you should inform us immediately so that it can be amended.

Internet-based transfers

Given that the internet is a global environment, using the internet to collect and process personal data necessarily involves the transmission of data on an international basis. Therefore, by browsing our Site and communicating electronically with us, you acknowledge and consent to our processing of personal data in this way. We will endeavour at all times to protect all personal information collected through our Site in accordance with applicable data protection laws.

Telephone calls

We may record telephone conversations to offer you additional security, resolve complaints and improve our service standards. Conversations may also be monitored for secretariat staff training purposes.

Other websites

Our Site may contain links to other websites which are outside our control and are not covered by this Privacy Policy. If you access other websites using the links provided, the operators of these websites may collect information from you which will be used by them in accordance with their own privacy policies, which may differ from ours. Therefore, if you use these links to leave our Site and visit websites operated by third parties, we cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information that you provide whilst visiting those websites. Please check these policies before you submit any personal data to these websites.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

We aim to update our Site regularly, and may change the content at any time. If the need arises, we may suspend access to our Site, or close it indefinitely. Any of the material on our Site may be out of date at any given time, and we are under no obligation to update such material.


This Privacy Policy will be kept under review and if amended notification will be made on the Bar Council and BSB websites and on Barrister Connect.

Dated: November 2015