Our history

Beginnings

Lawyers took over the Inner and Middle Temples from the Order of Knights Templar, a Common Bench having been established at Westminster in the late 13th and early 14th century.  Lincoln's and Gray's Inns grew from association with Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln and the de Gray family respectively. From the 17th century onward, the right to practise as an advocate in the Royal Courts was restricted to members of the Inns, the Bar becoming firmly a referral profession acting on the instructions of solicitors in the 19th century.

Representative responsibilities

The Bar Council represents the Bar on an increasing number of issues, including the administration of justice and relations with Government, the European Union, legal professions in other countries and other organisations with common interests. It participates in the negotiation of publicly funded fees in addition to law reform consultation. Over 200 barristers serve on a range of committees, working in the interests of the profession and of the public by seeking to improve the quality of service that the profession provides. The positive involvement of so many practitioners also promotes accountability, both generally and within the work of the Bar Council.