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Representing yourself and your friends

Purpose: To draw barristers' attention to their professional obligations in relation to this subject
Scope of application: All practising barristers
Issued by: The Ethics Committee
Last reviewed: 10/10/2018
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.

I am in litigation and wish to represent myself. May I do so? – A friend has asked me for some legal advice. Am I able to help? – A friend has asked me to appear at an Employment Tribunal hearing on her behalf. May I do so without instructions from a professional client? I will not be charging a fee and do not want my friend to go to the trouble and expense of instructing a solicitor. If this is not possible may I assist as a McKenzie friend? – A friend’s brother has asked me to represent him in the Crown/County Court. May I do so without instructions from a professional client? I do not want him to go to the trouble and expense of instructing a solicitor and I do not intend to charge him a fee.


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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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