Bar Council launches support hotline for stressed barristers

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New wellbeing initiative also includes self-help programmes, fact sheets and videos

The Bar Council has teamed up with a leading workplace health provider in a bid to offer greater levels of wellbeing support to barristers.

A new partnership has this week been announced between the Bar Council and Health Assured to offer a new Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) to the entire self-employed bar. The new programme, funded by Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund, a not-for-profit company providing professional indemnity insurance, will offer confidential telephone support and counselling services to barristers, as well as a wide range of wellbeing fact sheets, videos and self-help programmes.

Available from yesterday, the scheme builds on a similar programme launched last year by the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) but extends coverage to the whole of the self-employed bar.

It’s not just barristers who can call on the additional wellbeing support. The Bar Council today confirmed the EAP will be available to members of the Institute of Barristers’ Clerks (IBC) and the Legal Practice Management Association (LPMA).

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Andrew Walker QC, chair of the bar, said:

“The wellbeing of barristers in all areas of practice is something that cannot be taken for granted. The pressures that they now face are such that we need to make sure that ongoing support is available, whenever it might be needed. The findings of our ‘Barristers’ Working Lives’ survey in the last year clearly indicated immense levels of stress felt by members of the bar, with those at the criminal bar being among those most badly affected, so we are grateful for the crucial work of the CBA in taking a lead by offering a bespoke telephone helpline for the last 12 months.”

The ‘Barristers’ Working Lives’ report cited by Walker found that across all practice areas, 22% of barristers clocked up more than 60 hours a week, up from 13% in 2013. Meanwhile, over half (55%) of the 4,000 respondents said they were unable to balance their home and working lives.

LawCare, a charity which promotes and supports good mental health and wellbeing in the legal community, operates a similar helpline for solicitors. Figures released by the organisation earlier this year showed it handled 900 calls from 616 callers in 2017, an 11% increase on the year before.

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Comments are locked on the Eve Cornwell advert from yesterday and those which criticising the vlogger and other criticisms are being removed without a trace (no italics about breach of policy, just gone). Alex and the rest, you’re pathetic.

They did the same for the advert for LC’s over-priced scam of a conference event, they censor views that don’t fit their narrative. Why do you have to ruin fucking everything with your bullshit rhetoric?



A pointless hotline to make us all look weak. Brilliant.


And you may say to yourself 'This is not my talking stick'

“…will offer confidential telephone support and counselling services to barristers, as well as a wide range of wellbeing fact sheets, videos and self-help programmes.”

And if none of that works, they will escalate the procedure to supply chamomile tea, Keep Calm and Carry On tea towels and tailored advice to imagine your audience naked.


Ex Barrister

I hope this helps some people. I wonder whether they have done much publicity for it?



Absolutely ^

Decent initiative, very worthwhile.

Barristers need support.

Unionise. Strike. Solidarity.



Wow. Quite happy I never got pupillage and that I can see reality for what it is. Life’s far too short to be stressed, miserable and not really seeing your children grow up.



No you’re not.

I’ve been at it for years and still love the job.

Having not made the grade (and spent all that money) you now pretend you never wanted it in the first place.

Ever heard the Aesop’s fable about the fox and the grapes?



Professional manipulator states he actually ‘loves’ the job? Really?



And then when mental illness kicks in the SRA and BSB will discipline the victims out of the profession without a second thought.


Peter Yesuthasan

I was calked


Peter Yesuthasan

I was called to the Bar in 2002, still b
Not in practice…as..I was b not able to get a pupillage.
I can’t even sign a passport application!
I am sure there are thousands out there like me.
Can someone help!?



Sit on a glorious beach thousands of miles away from Temple with your flat stomach, good health and a family you actually get to spend time with. You can’t buy that.

Feel pity for all those poor people who feel so much pressure to save face and pretend they ‘love’ what they do, they are crying down that hotline because there’s nowhere else to go. That hotline exists because clearly, many do not actually ‘love’ the work.

There but for the grace of God…


Keep Temple safe

I am really stressed at the moment due to concerns about a colleague at my chambers. Unlike most barristers he genuinely gives a toss about human rights, and keeps ranting on about that matter, as well as Jeremy Corbyn, the “evil hypocritical west” and the “capitalist power structure”.worst of all he has not had a girlfriend for the past year.

He is clearly a frustrated incel. His rants are likely borne from frustration. I believe the best way to help him is to reach out and touch base in order to schedule mutually convenient time for him to visit a prostitute. The BSB have stated that this would be a professional breach after sharing my concerns with them. The bar council concur.

It is really concerning that the BSB lack the acuity to realise that such a person is a terrorist in the making. I fear that my colleague may “be going ER” soon. Yet the BSB is preventing me from taking the appropriate actions. Speaking with the bar council has been useless.

I truly believe his practice through our chambers potentially amounts to assisting with terrorist financing.

Something needs to be done.



For a second there, I thought we must know the same barrister in Temple, but I think it’s someone else. The one I know sounds much like the above. He also liked to stalk pretty female colleagues asking them about their sex lives and beg to be their ‘friend’, moving on to shouting at them for wearing outfits he didn’t like and also to chastise them for the colour of their nail polish. Very odd behaviour. Of course, no point reporting this sort of behaviour at the Bar though, as he’s far from the only cantankerous person like that. We found a way to really laugh though. For all the blustering, lying, shouting and arrogance, this man has an incredibly obese wife.


Di Gennaro

I like his wife… She’s not obese… Just full and voluptuous…

Yum yum


Prickolas Smallcok

So interesting how the Barristers that are the most vocal about “wellbeing at the Bar” are the most abusive autistic pr1cks that obviously don’t give a f42k. Is it just some tick box exercise to try and get silk?? … Or try and get laid??


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