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Purpose: To address the devilling of work between barristers
Scope of application: All self-employed practising barristers
Issued by: The Ethics Committee
First reviewed: 01/11/2014
Last reviewed: 30/03/2022
Status and effect: Please see the notice at end of this document. This is not "guidance" for the purposes of the BSB Handbook I6.4.

“Devilling” is the long-established practice among self-employed barristers by which one barrister obtains the assistance of another, usually a more junior, barrister to carry out work to help the first barrister discharge his instructions. So far as the Ethics Committee is aware, however, no advice has previously been given as to when it is appropriate to devil work or obtain the assistance of a devil, or what steps should be taken to ensure compliance by the barristers concerned with their professional obligations.

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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, please see here.

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