It is with regret that I find myself having to remind practitioners that rudeness, aggression, abuse and hostility towards the staff of the Bar Association will not be tolerated.
Our staff work extremely hard to support and promote our profession in a range of ways. Many of the staff are themselves very experienced, highly qualified professionals in legal and other fields, and in any case, should be treated with respect in their workplace.
Our staff are mindful of the myriad pressures that practitioners may be suffering, both personal and professional, be it because they are the subject of a complaint, the Bar Practice Course, exam failure, chambers conflicts, financial, domestic or health issues. Our staff recognise that a core part of their role is to assist and support the profession, but members of the Bar should also bear in mind that some staff are also carrying out statutory functions on behalf of the Bar Council.
Our staff are entitled to work without abuse, bullying or intimidation. The Bar Council takes a zero tolerance approach to this kind of behaviour.
I urge all of my colleagues to remain mindful of that, and not be tempted to vent your anger and frustration on our staff. If you feel that you are not coping with a particular personal or professional situation and need support, I urge you to contact BarCare on email@example.com.
Unfortunately instances of unacceptable behaviour have been brought to my attention. Employees of the Bar Association have the right to refuse to deal with anyone who behaves in that way.
Practitioners should be aware that particularly serious outbursts, or persistent inappropriate behaviour might result in a complaint to the Office of the Legal Services Commissioner.