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Refusing work on the basis of fees

Purpose: To draw barristers' attention to issues relating to this topic
Scope of application: All self-employed barristers
Issued by: The Ethics Committee
First reviewed: 01/09/2005
Last reviewed: 01/11/2021
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.

If you receive instructions from a professional client and you are: a self-employed barrister instructed by a professional client; or an authorised individual working within a BSB entity practising in criminal law; or a BSB entity and the instructions seek the services of a named authorised individual working for you as a criminal advocate, then the ‘Cab-rank’ rule (BSB Handbook rC29) obliges you to accept instructions if they are appropriate taking into account your experience, seniority and/or field of practice of yourself or (as appropriate) of the named authorised individual, subject to the exceptions in the BSB Handbook rC30.

Download: Refusal of Work by Members of the Bar on Grounds relating to the Adequacy of Fees, including Legal Aid Fees:

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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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