The American Bar Association is a voluntary association of lawyers and law students, and this is its main web site, providing information and news relating to the legal profession in the United States. Information on legal education, admission to the bar and how the courts work may be found in the “Public Resources” section which is accessible from the foot of any page. Via the “Publishing” tab there is a link to the separate web site of the monthly ABA Journal, where articles from 2004 onwards may be accessed.
The Association of Costs Lawyers (ACL) is the professional body for costs lawyers (formerly known as law costs draftsmen) in the UK. Its site includes information on the role, education and training of costs lawyers, a directory of members, news items, and some recent issues of the Costs Lawyer monthly magazine.
The Bar Council (more formally the General Council of the Bar) is the governing body and Approved Regulator of the Bar of England and Wales. Its web site has information on the Bar’s history, organisation, regulation and training. The “Supporting the Bar” section includes, under “Practising requirements”, links to the BSB Handbook (which includes the 9th edition of the Code of Conduct) and information about practising certificates and CPD on the web site of the Bar Standards Board, and there is also a “Practice and Ethics” section containing a searchable practice and ethics A-Z.
This is a combined site for the Bar Council of Ireland, which is the governing body of the Irish Bar, and the Law Library of Ireland, which functions (in the absence of a tradition of barristers’ chambers in Ireland) as the central working location of the practising Irish Bar. Its web site includes a fully searchable database of Irish barristers, the Bar Council’s constitution, the Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Code for the Bar of Ireland, and other general information about the Irish Bar and legal system, as well as a selection of links.
The Bar Directory is now accessed via Sweet & Maxwell’s Legal Hub site.
The Bar Pro Bono Unit matches barristers prepared to do pro bono work with those who need their help. Its web site provides information about the work of the unit, and registration forms for barristers or solicitors wishing to volunteer. The members’ area of the site provides information about available cases.
The Bar Standards Board (BSB) regulates barristers called to the bar in England and Wales. It was established in January 2006 to take over and run separately the regulatory function which had hitherto been carried out by the Bar Council alongside its representative work. Content includes the current BSB Handbook which came into force on 6 January 2014 and incorporates a revised Code of Conduct; information on the complaint procedure; consultation papers; press releases; and an online Barristers’ Register containing details of all barristers eligible to provide legal services in England and Wales. Published disciplinary findings are available October 2002 onwards.
The BSB’s “Qualifying as a barrister” section includes information about the academic and vocational stages of training for the bar, information about pupillage, and information for lawers transferring to the bar.
The Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service (BTAS) is responsible for appointing and administering disciplinary tribunals for barristers in England and Wales facing charges of professional misconduct, and Inns’ Conduct Committee panels dealing with admission and disciplinary matters concerning student members of an Inn or applicants for admission. It was set up by the Council of the Inns of Court (COIC) at the request of the Bar Standards Board and became operational from 1 February 2013. Its web site includes policy and guidance documents, annual reports, newsletters, and details of both completed and forthcoming hearings.
This is a section of the site Legal Resources in UK and Ireland maintained by Delia Venables. It provides annotated links to, amongst others, web sites of: barristers’ chambers in England and Wales; chambers and individual barristers offering legal resources on their web sites; blogs written by barristers; Bar Council and Bar Associations; Inns of Court; Circuits; and Scottish advocates. Elsewhere on the site there is a section on the bar and barristers in Ireland.
BLD, also known as the Black Lawyers Directory, is an organization that aims to promote diversity within the legal profession and highlight the talent and achievements of black and ethnic minority lawyers.
The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) is a voluntary professional organisation whose members include approximately two thirds of all practising lawyers in Canada. Freely accessible site content includes an archive of press releases 2008 onwards, calendar of events, information on facilities available to members, and articles from the monthly magazine National, 2012 onwards. The CBA’s official journal Canadian Bar Review is amongst content accessible only by members.
The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) acts as the liaison between the European Union and Europe’s national bars and law societies. The Documents section of its web site includes the CCBE’s Code of Conduct for European Lawyers as well as national codes of conduct, reports from committees looking at various topics and subject areas, and position papers. The News section includes recent newsletters and press releases.
Online version of Chambers UK, the evaluative directory of solicitors, barristers, law firms and chambers, published annually in October by Chambers and Partners.
Online version of Chambers USA, the evaluative guide to leading lawyers and law firms in the USA, researched and published annually in May by UK publisher Chambers and Partners.
CIPA is the professional and examining body for patent attorneys (also known as patent agents) in the UK. Its site includes a searchable register of patent agents; an overview of the law of patents, trademarks, industrial designs and copyright; briefing papers (aimed at IP professionals) on matters of current interest and press releases.
The Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA) is the professional body for trade mark attorneys and trade mark and design litigators in the UK. Freely acessible content (there is also a members only section) includes CITMA’s Royal Charter, recent annual reports (for archived annual reports you have to contact the CITMA office), and a News section. There is also a link to the Intellectual Property Regulation Board’s Code of Conduct, which applies to all registered Trade Mark Attorneys and Patent Attorneys. In addition there is a search tool for finding registered trade mark attorneys.
CILEx Regulation (formerly ILEX Professional Standards) is the independent regulator of members of CILEx (the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives) and of certain other individuals who are not members of CILEx but who have practice rights in the legal sector. Site content includes the CILEx code of conduct and various other codes and rules; a directory of disciplinary records; and a link to the directory of CILEx authorised practitioners on the CILEx web site.
The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) is a professional body representing around 20,000 members. Its web site includes a searchable directory of legal executives, annual reports 2003 onwards, press releases 2008 onwards, the ILEX Professional Standards (IPS) Code of Conduct, and information about education and training. The Institute’s official journal The CILEx Journal is available October 2015 onwards.
The Costs Lawyer Standards Board (CLSB) is the Approved Regulator of costs lawyers in England and Wales. Documents accessible on its site include the costs lawyers’ Code of Conduct, Practising Rules, and Disciplinary Rules & Procedures. There is a searchable register of costs lawyers who hold a current practising certificate and are therefore regulated by the CLSB.
The Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) is the regulatory body for licensed conveyancers in England and Wales. The Consumer Information section of its web site includes a searchable directory of licensed conveyancers and details of complaints procedures. The CLC’s Handbook is available for download.
This site gives an overview of the work of judicial office-holders in the civil, criminal and family courts, and tribunals, of England and Wales. It is the web site of the Judicial Office, which was established in 2006 under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. “About the Judiciary” includes up to date lists of the senior judiciary, circuit judges, district judges and others. “You and the Judiciary” includes forms of address and the Guide to Judicial Conduct. The “Announcements” section provides press releases, announcements of appointments and retirements, and transcripts of speeches made by the senior judiciary 2012 onwards, with earlier coverage available via an archived version of the site. “Judgments” includes selected judgments and sentencing remarks December 2011 onwards. “Publications” includes statistics, practice statements, protocols and guidance, and judicial responses to government proposals. Legal term dates 2013 to 2018 and published decisions of the First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal chambers are available via links at the top of the page.
The Direct Access Portal (DAP) is the Bar Council’s directory of direct access barristers (barristers who can offer services directly to the public without a solicitor being instructed), and also provides access to mediators and arbitrators.
The Faculty of Advocates is the professional body for the Scottish Bar. The web site provides information on the office-holders and organisation of the Faculty and on education and training for Advocates. The membership directory can be browsed by individuals’ names or by the “Stables” to which advocates belong: select “Instructing Advocates”. The Faculty’s Guide to Professional Conduct can be downloaded from the “Professional Stndards” page within “About Advocates”.
The admission and regulation of notaries in England and Wales is a function of the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Notaries section of its web site has a collection of the rules regulating notaries, a code of practice for notaries, and a searchable directory of notaries practising in England and Wales.
The Government Legal Department (formerly the Treasury Solicitor’s Department) provides legal services to government departments and other publicly funded bodies, and collects and manages bona vacantia on behalf of the Crown. Its section of the GOV.UK web site includes lists of the Attorney General’s panel of counsel, and a variety of publications. A link is provided to the separate Bona Vacantia section of the web site.
The Guernsey Bar web site provides information primarily on the profession of advocate in Guernsey, together with basic information on Guernsey’s legal system. Readily accessible content (there is also a members’ only area) includes contact information for Guernsey law firms and a glossary of legal terms.
This section of the HG.org site (formerly known as Hieros Gamos) provides a worldwide directory of bar associations and law societies, arranged primarily by continent or region. There are links to web sites in some cases, otherwise contact details are given.
As well as general information about the Hong Kong Bar aimed at the public, this site features the code of conduct, information on admission and pupillage, events, Bar List, and rules and regulations of the Association.
As well as providing links to legal information, the Lawfinder page of the Infolaw site includes, under the heading “Lawfinder Legal Services”, listings of solicitors’ firms, barristers’ chambers, and providers of ADR and legal advice services.
The Intellectual Property Regulation Board (IPReg) was set up to undertake the regulation of the patent attorney and trade mark attorney professions on behalf of both the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) and the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA), which are Approved Regulators under the Legal Services Act 2007. Site content includes the single Code of Conduct which applies to all members of both professions, and separate registers of the two professions in the form of pdf documents.
The International Law Office provides information about legal developments from around the world via a free email subscription service. The web site also includes an archive of newsletter articles 1998 onwards which can be searched, or browsed by subject and country via the search results screen.
The Society is the regulatory and professional body for advocates in the Isle of Man, who combine the functions performed in England and Wales by barristers and solicitors. The site includes information on its history, role and functions, together with lists of members both individually and by law firm. A members only section includes the text of the Advocates Handbook (pdf).
The Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman (JACO) investigates complaints about the judicial appointments process and the handling of matters involving judicial discipline or conduct. This section of the GOV.UK site has information on how to make a complaint and recent annual reports.
The Board, which was created in 2002, recommends to the Scottish Ministers potential candidates for appointment to the offices of Judge of the Court of Session, Chair of the Scottish Land Court, Sheriff Principal, Sheriff, Part-time Sheriff, Summary Sheriff and Temporary Judge. It also takes charge of the recruitment and selection process, and approves processes for the appointment of JPs. The appointments recommended by the Board are listed on the web site, as are current vacancies. The Policies and Publications sections contain papers on the roles of the various judicial offices for which the Board is responsible, criteria for judicial appointments generally, and annual reports 2002-2003 onwards.
The JAC is an independent body set up by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 to select judicial office holders in England and Wales. Its web site includes information about the selection process, news releases 2012 onwards, Annual Reports 2014 onwards, and a range of other publications.
The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) handles complaints about the personal conduct of all judicial office holders in England and Wales and some judicial office holders who sit in tribunals in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It took over the responsibilities of the Office for Judicial Complaints (OJC) on 1 October 2013, operating under a new set of procedures, rules and guidance. Leaflets, annual reports and other publications are reproduced on the site, and there are links to relevant regulations.
The Judiciary of Scotland web site includes information about Scottish judges and the Scottish court system, summaries of selected judgments, responses to consultations, news, and press releases. In the “Going to Court” section there is a glossary of the most commonly used legal terms in Scotland.
The Law Society of England and Wales is the professional association and Approved Regulator of solicitors in England and Wales. Select “Find a solicitor” for access to the Society’s directory of solicitors. Search options include organisation or personal name, specialism and location. The “Support and services” section contains advice for solicitors, including a wide selection of practice notes, and the “For the public” section provides brief guides to a number of common legal issues.
The Law Society of Ireland is the professional body for solicitors in Ireland. Its web site includes the current and recent issues of the Society’s Gazette, with indices 1999 onwards and a searchable archive 1997 onwards, plus information on the structure and committees of the Society, a database of solicitors and firms, and a selection of recent news items.
The Society is the governing body of lawyers practising as advocates and solicitors of the Royal Court of Jersey. Besides information on the organisation and activities of the Society, the site includes lists of individual members and of law firms, and the full text of the Society’s Code of Conduct.
The Society is the professional and regulatory body for solicitors in Northern Ireland. The web site includes a summary of its regulatory framework and details of the complaints procedure. Downloadable publications include the Solicitors’ Accounts Regulations 1998 and 2014 and the Society’s journal The Writ April 2000 onwards. There is also a directory of solicitors’ firms in the major towns and villages of Northern Ireland, searchable by name, geographical location or category of work undertaken.
The Law Society of Scotland is the governing body for Scottish solicitors. The “Members” section contains advice, rules and guidance on many aspects of professional practice. Directories of solicitors’ firms and of individual solicitors are also available: see under “Find a Solicitor”.
The Law Society of Singapore is the representative body for all lawyers in Singapore. Its site provides information for and about the legal profession in Singapore, notably a directory covering individual lawyers, law firms, notaries public and commissioners for oaths; practice directions and circulars (in Members’ Library, requiring log-in); calendar of events; and information on how to qualify and how to set up a legal practice (select “Running your Practice”). Publications include the Society’s Law Gazette 2000 onwards. The section headed “You and the Law” contains brief articles on various aspects of the law, aimed at the layperson: select “For Public” from the menu bar.
The is the web site of JLD, the Junior Lawyers Division of the Law Society, which was launched in January 2008 to provide an independent voice for student members of the Law Society, trainees, and solicitors of up to five years’ post qualification experience. It includes news about JLD, and information about starting a career as a solicitor.
LawWorks is the operating name of the Solicitors Pro Bono Group, a charity that aims to increase the availability of free legal advice to individuals and communities in need. Its web site includes recent news stories about the group and information for individuals, not-for-profit organisations, and for solicitors and volunteers.
The Lay Observer oversees the complaint-handling function of the Law Society of Northern Ireland. The site includes information on the Lay Observer’s role, details of the complaints procedure, and recent annual reports.
Sweet & Maxwell’s Legal Hub site provides free online access to the current editions of its publications The Bar Directory, Expert Witness Directory and In-house Lawyer Directory. The site also includes a collection of articles: for full access to these registration is required.
The Legal Ombudsman scheme for handling complaints about providers of legal services in England and Wales came into operation on 6 October 2010. Site content includes the scheme rules, FAQs, news, consultations, guidance, annual reports, and topically arranged case summaries.
The Legal Services Board (LSB) became fully operational on 1 January 2010 as the single “oversight regulator” for the legal profession in England and Wales. It oversees those bodies designated Approved Regulators which directly regulate providers of legal services, including solicitors, barristers, legal executives, licensed conveyancers, patent and trade mark attorneys, notaries, costs lawyers and chartered accountants. The site includes background information on the creation of the LSB, a list of the Approved Regulators, FAQs, consultations, news and press releases.
Sir David Clementi’s Review of the regulation of legal services in England and Wales published its report on 15 December 2004. Besides the full text of the report, the site (now archived) has general information about the Review and its terms of reference, press notices, a consultation paper dated 8 March 2004, and relevant publications of the Department for Constitutional Affairs and the Office of Fair Trading. The site is no longer updated, but has been archived for preservation by the National Archives.
The Malaysian Bar is the professional body for all lawyers in Malaysia. Its web site provides information on how to qualify as a solicitor/advocate in Malaysia, legislation governing the legal profession, practice directions, membership directory and news relevant to the profession.
US and international directory of the legal profession, searchable by personal or corporate name, location and practice area.
The Commission was established in June 2005, as an independent public body under the Justice (Northern Ireland) Acts 2002 and 2004, to select and recommend candidates for judicial office in Northern Ireland. Contents of its web site include information on the appointments process, guides, minutes of Plenary Meetings and annual reports.
The Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Ombudsman was established on 25 September 2006 under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 to investigate allegations by applicants for judicial appointments of maladministration or unfairness on the part of the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission, the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service or the Lord Chancellor. The site provides details of the complaints procedure and annual reports.
Notaries are the oldest branch of the legal profession in England and Wales, carrying out all types of legal work other than the conduct of litigation, but chiefly concerned with the authentication and certification of signatures and documents for use abroad. The Notaries Society web site includes basic information about notaries and qualification as a notary, and a searchable database of notaries.
The Legal Services Complaints Commissioner was an independent government-appointed regulator who worked with consumers and solicitors to improve the complaint-handling function of the Law Society of England and Wales from 2004 to 2010. The Office closed on 31 March 2010 and its archived web site is available here on the National Archives site.
PABA represents the interests of Public Access Barristers, who offer legal services direct to the consumer without the use of a solicitor. Its web site includes information about the sort of work Public Access Barristers can undertake and a link to the Bar Council’s Barristers’ Register.
The present system of appointment of Queen’s Counsel came into effect in 2005-06. This site contains information and guidance for both applicants and assessors in the current competition, and has information about recent completed competitions including lists of successful applicants.
The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) was established on 1 October 2008, under the Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 2007, to investigate complaints by members of the public about services provided by legal practitioners in Scotland. The site has information on the complaints process, the SLCC Rules, complaint forms, annual reports, news, and details of any current consultations.
Before 1 October 2008, when the new Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) was established, complaints about the way the Law Society of Scotland or the Faculty of Advocates had handled a complaint against a legal practitioner were dealt with by the Scottish Legal Services Ombudsman (SLSO). Annual reports 2000-2001 to 2007-2008 are amongst material still accessible on the SLSO site: since the abolition of the SLSO most other content has been removed.
The Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal (SSDT) is an independent body which deals with serious disciplinary issues, and certain other matters, concerning solicitors in Scotland. Its findings are accessible on the site in full text, 1995 onwards, together with its procedural rules, annual reports 2009 onwards, and general information in the form of FAQs.
The Society of Legal Scholars (SLS), formerly the Society of Public Teachers of Law in Great Britain and Northern Ireland (SPTL), is a society for those involved in teaching law in a university or similar institution, or otherwise involved in legal scholarship. Its membership includes both academic and practising lawyers. The web site includes news and information relating to its activities, events and publications.
Messengers-at-Arms are officers of the Court of Session whose work involves serving documents and enforcing orders of the court. Sheriff Officers have a similar role with regard to Scotland’s regional civil courts. The Society’s web site provides historical background to the two offices, code of practice, complaints procedure and directory of members.
This Society represents those Scottish solicitors who have been granted rights of audience in the higher courts of Scotland and of the United Kingdom. The “Library” section of the web site (within “Resources”) provides a range of downloads including application forms and accreditation criteria for becoming a Solicitor Advocate, diary of training events and codes of conduct.
The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) adjudicates on alleged breaches of rules of professional conduct by members of the solicitors’ profession in England and Wales. Its web site includes information about the SDT’s constitution and procedures and annual reports 2002 onwards.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has been the independent regulator of solicitors in England and Wales since January 2007. Its web site includes the current version of the SRA Handbook which came into effect on 6 October 2011 and incorporates the formerly separate Solicitors’ Code of Conduct and Solicitors’ Accounts Rules. Other content includes consultations, news and contact details.
SAHCA is a national association representing the interests of solicitors practising as advocates in the higher courts in England and Wales. The web site includes a directory of members, a selection of articles, and recent legal news.
The Legal 500 series of guides to legal services providers is published by Legalease. This UK guide includes directories of UK law firms, barristers’ chambers and in-house lawyers.
Previously known as ConnectingLegal, this site includes online directories of solicitors’ firms and barristers’ chambers. There are also charity, expert witness and other directories, and links to directories of non-legal professionals such as accountancy and surveying firms.
The Society of Writers to Her Majesty’s Signet, or WS Society, is a professional society most of whose members are Scottish solicitors in private practice. The web site provides information on the activities of the Society (with a particular emphasis on education and training) and allows access to the online catalogue of the Signet Library, one of the most extensive law libraries in Scotland.
Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL) is a group of lawyers committed to practising in areas of law that have traditionally been publicly funded, with a membership including qualified junior lawyers, pupil barristers, trainee solicitors, students and paralegals. YLAL campaigns for a sustainable legal aid system, promotes diversity within the legal aid sector and the interests of new entrants to the profession, and provides a network for those beginning careers in the legal aid sector. The YLAL website includes information about the group, its subgroups and meetings, and also includes information about legal aid, responses to consultations, briefings, reports, and news.