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Conducting Litigation

Purpose: Helpful links to BSB and Bar Council information about what constitutes the conduct of litigation
Scope of application: All practising barristers

The conduct of litigation is a reserved legal activity under the Legal Services Act 2007. A barrister cannot conduct litigation without authorisation from the Bar Standards Board (BSB). This means that you need to apply to the BSB for a specific extension to your practising certificate, in order to be able to conduct litigation. Information on the application process can be found on the BSB’s website via the link below.

It is a legal matter as to what constitutes the conduct of litigation. The Bar Council and the BSB have, however, separately provided advice on the topic to assist you in making these determinations. Please see the links below for the current advice:

BSB Guidance:

Guidance on conducting litigation

Authorisation to conduct litigation – information about the requirements and application process.

“Litigation authorisation – guidance for applicants” – this can be found on the above page.

Public access guidance for barristers– see especially paragraphs 10-14.

Bar Council document:

Direct Access Work


Important Notice

This document has been prepared by the Bar Council to assist barristers on matters of professional conduct and ethics. It is not “guidance” for the purposes of the BSB Handbook I6.4, and neither the BSB nor a disciplinary tribunal nor the Legal Ombudsman is bound by any views or advice expressed in it. It does not comprise – and cannot be relied on as giving – legal advice. It has been prepared in good faith, but neither the Bar Council nor any of the individuals responsible for or involved in its preparation accept any responsibility or liability for anything done in reliance on it. For fuller information as to the status and effect of this document, please see here.

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