22 September 2019

Is the person I’m dealing with really a barrister?

Is the person I'm dealing with a practising barrister?


If you are not sure if the person you are dealing with is actually a practising barrister, you can find out by searching The Barristers' Register. This provides a list of barristers who are permitted to carry out legal services when referring to themselves as barristers.


Pretending to be a barrister


If your search does not produce any matching results, you should get in touch with our Records Office (via records@barcouncil.org.uk), and we will conduct further checks for you.

It is against the law for someone to (deliberately or wilfully) pretend to be a barrister when they are not, or to use any name, title, or description that makes it seem as though they are a barrister when they are not.

If you learn that the person you are dealing with is pretending to be a barrister, you should get in touch with the police and let us know. In some cases the BSB will refer matters to the police about people pretending to be a barrister.


Email scams - what to look out for


We want to make sure people make the right decisions and do not fall victim to scams.

Many scams come in the form of fraudulent emails, often dishonestly using the names of real barristers or barristers' chambers and citing phoney qualifications. They are designed to trick people into giving money to criminals, posing as barristers.

Such emails often ask the recipient for personal details like

  • Your bank account details
  • Your date of birth
  • Log-in details to bank accounts or other online accounts 

Or they might ask you to send money in advance. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you have been targeted by a scam email, do not give out any money or personal details up front.

You should contact the police if you believe you have fallen victim to a scam.

Help and information
For further advice and information, please visit: Action Fraud, the UK's national fraud and internet crime reporting centre.


If you are based outside of the UK, please contact your local law enforcement agency.