Bar Council Annual Report 2016-17

Aim 2 - Bar Representation Fee

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Bar Representation Fee

For work that cannot be funded by the Practising Certificate Fee (PCF), the Bar Council continues to seek a voluntary contribution from barristers, known as the Bar Representation Fee (BRF). The BRF is £100 per year or £8.40 a month by direct debit, and can be paid during the annual Authorisation to Practice process, or at any other time in the year.

The BRF helps to pay for vital Bar Council initiatives which support the profession, such as the Bar Mentoring Service, and public affairs and campaign work with Government and the media on issues such as access to justice and court reform (see Aim 1 for more information on the Bar Council’s public affairs and policy work). The BRF also supports the Young Bar and international development work and gives Direct Access qualified barristers membership of the Direct Access Portal.

Without the financial contributions made by the Bar through the BRF, the Bar Council would not be able to represent the interests of the Bar, its employees, or support the public interest in ensuring the high-quality administration of justice.

Paying the BRF provides additional personal benefits for members. These include:

  • A one-year free subscription to the monthly Counsel magazine (normally £96 per year)
  • Unlimited copies of Certificates of Good Standing (otherwise £100 per certificate)
  • Discounts on Bar Council events, including training events and the Annual Bar and Young Bar Conference, and
  • Access to Xexec, an online portal, offering discounts on a range of over 500 retail products and services.

BRF payments in 2016-17 were 7 per cent higher than in 2015-16, with a 1.2 per cent increase in renewals and a 33 per cent increase in new subscribers. This success is due in part to better overall communication with members of the Bar, such as through BarTalk and social media, and also as a result of a targeted marketing campaign to highlight the value of the work the Bar Council does on behalf of the profession and in the public interest.

A number of additional changes were made in 2017 in preparation for the financial year 2017-18, including the introduction of the student BRF priced at £24 a year.

Contact and further information

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The Bar Council
289-293 High Holborn

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Luke Robins-Grace
Senior Communications Adviser 
0207 630 4689