Advocate (formerly 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 wishing to volunteer. The members’ area of the site provides information about available cases.
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 “Topics & Resources” section, or in the “Legal Resources for the Public” section which is accessible from the foot of any page. There is also 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 and news items. Some content is only available to members and/or registered subscribers.
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, and there are also links to the Bar Council’s “Ethics and Practice Hub” web site and the Direct Access Portal.
The Bar Directory is now accessed via the Juriosity web site.
The Bar of Ireland is the governing body for barristers practising in the Republic of Ireland. The web site provides information on its regulatory, representative and educational roles, and on the Law Library, which in the absence of a tradition of barristers’ chambers in Ireland functions as the Irish Bar’s central working location. There is a fully searchable database of Irish barristers, information on the complaints and disciplinary procedures, and other general information on Ireland’s courts system.
The Bar Standards Board (BSB) regulates barristers called to the bar in England and Wales. Established in January 2006, it took over the regulatory function which had hitherto been carried out by the Bar Council alongside its representative work. Site content includes the BSB Handbook; the Barristers’ Register (of all barristers authorised to practise in England and Wales and holding a current practising certificate); information on requirements for qualifying as a barrister, including training and pupillage; and a section “Complaints and Professional Conduct”. This last includes information on the fitness to practise, complaints and disciplinary tribunal processes, and published disciplinary findings October 2002 onwards.
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.
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, information on facilities available to members, and a searchable database of CBA members. Articles from the CBA’s official journal Canadian Bar Review, 1923 onwards, and the monthly magazine National, 2012 onwards, are also available.
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 and Partners, the evaluative directory of solicitors, barristers, law firms and chambers, with sections covering UK solicitors and barristers, as well as lawyers in the USA, Europe, Canada, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America.
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.
The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (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; and briefing papers (aimed at IP professionals) on matters of current interest.
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 accessible content (there is also a members only section) includes CITMA’s Royal Charter and bye-laws, recent annual reports, the Institute’s journal CITMA Review (formerly ITMA Review) 2010 onwards, a News section, and a search tool for finding chartered 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 CILEx Code of Conduct, and information about education and training. 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 is the web site of the Judicial Office, which provides support to the judiciary of the courts of England and Wales and of the non-devolved tribunals of the UK. “About the Judiciary” includes lists of the senior judiciary, circuit judges, district judges and others. “You and the Judiciary” includes forms of address, the Guide to Judicial Conduct, and information for litigants in person. The “Announcements” section provides press releases, announcements of appointments and retirements, and transcripts of speeches made by the senior judiciary 2010 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 2016 onwards 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 searchable portal for locating and contacting direct access barristers – barristers who can offer services directly to the public without a solicitor having been instructed. It also provides access to mediators and arbitrators.
The Bar Council’s Ethics & Practice Hub provides guidance for barristers on ethical issues, as well as guidance on issues relating to information technology and data protection, equality and diversity, international practice, and remuneration.
The Faculty of Advocates is the professional body for the Scottish Bar. Its 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 searched by individuals’ names or specialisms: select “About Advocates”. The Faculty’s Guide to Professional Conduct can be downloaded from the “Professional Standards” page, also 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.
The Hong Kong Bar Association (HKBA) is the professional organisation of barristers in Hong Kong. As well as general information about the Hong Kong Bar aimed at the public, its website features the code of conduct, information on admission and pupillage, events, Bar List, and rules and regulations of the Association.
Content within the “Lawfinder” section of the Infolaw legal research portal site includes listings of solicitors’ firms, barristers’ chambers, and providers of ADR and legal advice services. “The Directory” lists a wide variety of public and non-profit organisations.
The Intellectual Property Regulation Board (IPReg) regulates 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. There is a searchable register of members both individually and by law firm. The Rules (previously Advocates Handbook) are accessible from the foot of almost any page.
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 judicial offices in Scotland. Included within its remit are the offices of Senator of the College of Justice (Judge of the Court of Session or High Court of Justiciary), Chair of the Scottish Land Court, Sheriff Principal, Sheriff, Part-time Sheriff, Summary Sheriff and Temporary Judge, and judges of the Upper Tribunal and the First-tier Tribunal. It also sets the standards to be applied by Justice of the Peace Advisory Committees in the appointment of JPs. The appointments recommended by the Board are listed on the web site, as are current vacancies. “Resources” includes the criteria for judicial appointments generally, role profiles and FAQs. Publications include 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 2015 onwards, Annual Reports 2006 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. The 2014 Judicial Discipline Regulations and associated rules are available as PDF documents, and leaflets, annual reports and other publications are also reproduced on the site.
This web site includes a list of the judiciary in Northern Ireland, information about the court structure and sitting dates, a judicial conduct and complaints section, information about judicial training, reports from the Civil and Family Justice Review, a database of judicial decisions and directions, and sentencing guidelines.
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 “You and the Judiciary” section there is a glossary of the most commonly used legal terms in Scotland.
Juriosity is a legal directory and knowledge-sharing web site set up in partnership with the Bar Council of England and Wales. The Directory section of the site includes the Bar Directory and a database of law firms and individual solicitors, searchable by name, specialism and location. There is also a Knowledge Centre where lawyers and other legal experts can post articles and case notes.
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, the “Practice areas” section provides news, advice and information about a variety of legal topics, 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 information on the structure and committees of the Society, a database of solicitors and firms, and a selection of recent news items. There is also a link to the web site of the Society’s Gazette, with a searchable archive 1997 onwards.
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 directories 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 (Northern Ireland) Order 1976 as amended, the Solicitors Practice Regulations 1987 as amended, 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 Northern Ireland, searchable by name of firm or solicitor, geographical location, or category of work undertaken.
The Law Society of Scotland is the governing body for Scottish solicitors. The “For 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 “For the public” > “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; annual reports, 2013 onwards; 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 October 2017 onwards.
The Junior Lawyers Division (JLD) of the Law Society 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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, December 2004 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, its code of practice, complaints procedure and directory of members.
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 a searchable database of judgments 1999 onwards, the Solicitors (Disciplinary Proceedings) Rules 2007, 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 the association’s constitution and information about its complaints procedure, and recent legal news.
The Legal 500 series of guides to legal services providers is published by Legalease. This section of the UK guide includes directories of UK law firms and in-house lawyers. A directory of UK barristers can be found by selecting “UK Bar” from the “Rankings Home” menu.
This is a section of the site Venables Legal Resources, founded by Delia Venables and now published by Infolaw Limited. It provides annotated links to web sites of barristers’ chambers in England and Wales, public access barristers, solicitors in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, and of various law associations. There is also information about the bar of England and Wales, Scottish advocates, and the Bar of Ireland. Elsewhere on the site there is a section of links to current awareness services, legal news services, legal blogs, and Infolaw’s Internet Newsletter for Lawyers.
The Society of Writers to Her Majesty’s Signet, or WS Society, is a professional society most of whose members are Scottish solicitors, in law firms or in-house. 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 England and Wales in areas of law that have traditionally been publicly funded. Its membership includes 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. Its web site provides details of YLAL’s activities, and also includes information about legal aid, responses to consultations, briefings, reports, and news.