25 April 2018

Research reports

Report on Diversity at the Bar 2017

In January 2018, the BSB published its annual report based on the latest available diversity data for the Bar. The BSB has a statutory responsibility to monitor and promote equality and diversity both as an employer and as the regulator of barristers in England and Wales. The report shows that progress was made in 2017 with regard to both diversity at the Bar and to the disclosure rates of barristers providing data. While the diversity of barristers is improving, the report shows there is some way to go before the Bar is fully representative of the public it serves.

New research published to help inform Future Bar Training decisions

In December 2017 the BSB published two new pieces of research that are intended to provide a qualitative and quantitative evidence base to inform the current decision-making about the future training of barristers. The two reports, which are published with a covering statement from the BSB, offer important insights into current issues in the education and training system for qualification as a barrister.  

Family Law Clients Research report

In July 2017 the BSB published the findings of its research with people who have used barristers' services during family legal proceedings. The findings show that most of those who took part in the research were positive about the service they received from their barrister.

BPTC Key Statistics 2017. An analysis of students over three academic years

Published in June 2017. Updated statistical report on student performance on the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), the vocational stage of training for the Bar, shows that becoming a barrister remains very competitive. The report presents detailed analysis of the characteristics of students who progress to pupillage and aims to promote transparency in the training system and to inform our programme of work on equality and diversity.

Provision of legal services by barristers

Published in May 2017. The report contains the results of an online survey conducted in September and October 2016 with barristers about the future delivery of legal services.The survey found that while there are examples of "new and innovative" business models in the market, the prevailing business model for barristers is a traditional chambers.

Web sweep: transparency of online price information

A May 2017 report based on the findings of a web-sweep exercise which assessed how many websites of barristers' chambers published information about their prices. The findings inform a wider programme of work on price transparency in response to the recommendations of the Competition and Market Authority market study of legal services (2016).

Research into Client Care Letters

Published in November 2016.  Research commissioned jointly by legal regulators and the Legal Services Consumer Panel (LSCP) shows that Client Care Letters are often not as effective as they should be in making sure that clients understand the work that is being carried out on their behalf, or in outlining what is required of them. The report identifies principles to help legal services providers better communicate with their clients. The research involved qualitative methods with recent and prospective users of legal services, including a series of mini-groups, face-to-face depth interviews and a workshop.

Women at the Bar

A July 2016 report on women's experiences at the Bar. The women, at the time of being surveyed, held a current practising certificate. The BSB asked them about how the equality rules were working, since being implemented in 2012.

BPTC Key Statistics 2016. An analysis of students over three academic years

Published in May 2016.   Updated statistical report on student performance on the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), the vocational stage of training for the Bar, shows that becoming a barrister remains very competitive. The report presents detailed analysis of the characteristics of students who progress to pupillage and aims to promote transparency in the training system and to inform our programme of work on equality and diversity.

Research into the Public Access Scheme

Published in April 2016. Findings from a survey of public access barristers commissioned jointly by the BSB and the Legal Services Board (LSB) provide a detailed picture of the current provision of legal services through the public access scheme, perceptions about the operation of the current regulatory arrangements and of the impacts of recent reforms.  

Complaints at the Bar: An analysis of ethnicity and gender

This is a new statistical report which analyses three years of data to investigate factors contributing to differences across gender and ethnicity in the numbers of complaints made, and the outcomes of complaints. The BSB has been monitoring these issues since 2007 but the report analyses the data in greater depth than previously.

Youth Proceedings Advocacy Review

Published in November 2015. Mixed methods research commissioned jointly by the BSB and Cilex Regulation highlights the damaging effects that poor advocacy has on access to justice for young and often very vulnerable offenders, and their perceptions of the system in general. Whilst recognising there were examples of good practice amongst advocates appearing in youth court proceedings, the overriding view of those who participated within the research was that standards of advocacy were not at the level that the public should expect.

BPTC Key Statistics 2011-2014. An analysis of students over three academic years

Published in November 2015. Presents detailed analysis of the profile and diversity of students enrolled on the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), the vocational stage of training for the Bar. The report aims to promote transparency in the training system and to inform our programme of work on equality and diversity.

Bar Barometer full report 2014

The Bar Barometer presents data for the main stages of training for the Bar and for those in practice. As well as using data from the Bar Council's membership records, this report also uses data from the Bar Standards Board's Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) providers' monitoring data and the Pupillage Supplementary Survey. (Last in series, please refer to our statistics pages for up-to-date information on the life cycle of the Bar). 

Barristers' Working Lives A second biennial survey of the Bar 2013

Barristers' Working Lives  reveals the results from the second biennial survey of the Bar. It is jointly published by the Bar Standards Board and the Bar Council.

Report on diversity of barristers subject to complaints 2013

This report is divided into two parts: the first explains the history of our diversity monitoring of the complaints and disciplinary system, summarises the trends revealed and sets out the action the Bar Standards Board is taking to address potential areas of disparity of treatment.  Part 2 sets out the detailed analysis of the complaints diversity data for the five year period 2007-2011.

Bar Barometer full report 2012

The Bar Barometer presents data for the main stages of training for the Bar and for those in practice. As well as using data from the Bar Council's membership records, this report also uses data from the Bar Standards Board's Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) providers' monitoring data and the Pupillage Supplementary Survey.

A comparison between the backgrounds of Pupillage Portal applicants in 2009 and registered pupils in 2011

This paper compares the demographic, socio-economic and educational profiles of pupillage applicants from 2009 with registered pupils in 2011.

Perceptions of criminal advocacy - April 2012

A report by ORC International evaluating the current perceptions of the standards of criminal advocacy.

Barristers' Working Lives - A Biennial Survey of the Bar

The 2011 survey of the Bar gave practising barristers the opportunity to describe their current work situation and future career plans, and give their views about their life at work and their profession. This is the first in a planned series of biennial surveys, and as such gives not only a fascinating insight into barristers' working lives, but also a baseline which will enable changes over time to be tracked.

Bar Barometer full report 2011

Bar Barometer presents data for the main stages of training for the Bar and for those in practice. As well as using data from the Bar Council's membership records, this report also uses data from the Bar Standards Board's Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) providers' monitoring data and the Pupillage Supplementary Survey.

Bar Barometer pilot 2011

Trends in the profile of the bar, pilot statistical report March 2011

Survey of Barristers Changing Practice Status 2001 - 10 (published 2011)

The General Council of the Bar has been concerned for some time about the
disproportionately high number of female practitioners who leave practice relative to the number of male practitioners. With a view to gaining some understanding of the reasons for this, the General Council of the Bar in 2005 commissioned a survey of individuals who had ceased subscribing or changed their practice status between 2001 and 2005. The survey was repeated in 2007 and annually in subsequent years. 

An analysis of students enrolled on the 2010/11 Bar Professional Training Course BPTC

BPTC statistical report, prepared by Bar Council Research Department, June 2012. This report presents an analysis of the data relating to the backgrounds of those students who enrolled on the BPTC in the academic year 2010-11 and supplied monitoring data to the BPTC providers.

Pupillage supplementary survey 2010/11

 An analysis of the backgrounds of pupils registered in 2010/11

An analysis of students enrolled on the 2010/11 Bar Professional Training Course

Bar professional Training Course statistical data.

Business Structures Survey 2010

We commissioned YouGov to undertake a survey of barristers and clerks to gauge opinion on new business structures and their regulation.

Pupillage Portal Survey 2010

This paper presents the profile of pupillage applicants who have applied through the 'Pupillage Portal' (OLPAS) online system in 2010. This will include the profile of applicants' equality and diversity strands, including information on their socio-economic and educational backgrounds.

An analysis of full-time students enrolled on the 2009/10 BPTC

Statistical report on BPTC applicants.

BPTC full-time students 2009-10

This report presents an analysis of the data relating to the backgrounds of those students who enrolled on the full-time course in the academic year 2009-10 and supplied monitoring data to the BVC/BPTC providers. The data contained within this report was supplied by each of the course providers at an aggregate level. The data supplied to the BSB by providers is anonymous.

BPTC applicants 2009-10

This paper presents the profile of applicants to the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) who applied in October 2009 to January 2010. This includes the equality and diversity strands monitored and socio-economic background of applicants.

Pupillage Survey 2009-10

The Pupillage Supplementary Survey is administered on an annual basis in order to enable monitoring of the various equality, diversity and fair access objectives of the Bar Council and Bar Standards Board. This report presents an analysis of the backgrounds of those registered by the Bar Standards Board to undertake pupillage during the period 1 October 2009 to 30 September 2010.

Chambers monitoring pilot scheme 2009

The report details the approach adopted, the results of the pilot and puts forward
recommendations and suggestions for how a Chambers monitoring scheme could be advanced.

Ipsos MORI - perceptions of barristers 2007

The research reveals the views and experiences of today's Bar from
consumers, barristers, solicitors and others. We believe it forms an important body
of evidence, both for the Board in developing regulatory responses to the problems
identified, and for the profession in maintaining its reputation for quality.