Support for women across the Bar

21 February 2019

Advice and support for women has been and continues to be a priority for the Bar Council. We note Lord Pannick QC's suggestion in The Times today that we create a mentoring panel of senior women barristers. The Bar Council's Equality & Diversity Committee is supported by a Retention Panel, specifically aimed at assisting women, comprising male and female barristers of a range of levels of seniority and practice areas. The Bar Council has also worked closely with the BSB to make it easier for members of the Bar to discuss incidents of harassment through a reporting waiver scheme.

There are a growing number of women's groups across the Bar. In addition to influential groups such as the Association of Women Barristers and Women in Criminal Law, and the work undertaken by the Specialist Bar Associations, a number of regional initiatives have been established, including the Western Circuit Women's Forum which offers a mentoring scheme for women at the Bar. A Midland Circuit Women's Forum has also recently been set up and there are plans for women's forums on the other Circuits. 

Notes to editors

  1.  Further information is available from the Bar Council Press Office on 020 7222 2525 and

  2. The Next 100 Years is a campaign launched by the Bar Council in the centenary year of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919, to generate meaningful discussion of issues and highlight positive initiatives that are shaping the future for women at the Bar.

  3. The Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales. It promotes: 

  • The Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory services

  • Fair access to justice for all

  • The highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across the profession, and

  • The development of business opportunities for barristers at home and abroad.

The General Council of the Bar is the Approved Regulator of the Bar of England and Wales. It discharges its regulatory functions through the independent Bar Standards Board