Western Circuit

Harassment Helpline

help@westerncircuit.co.uk

The Western Circuit’s Harassment Helpline has been approved by the BSB as a pilot harassment support scheme. The Helpline will provide confidential advice and support to all barristers (including pupils) on the Western Circuit who have experienced any harassment or unwanted behaviour by listening to their story and providing information about their options for further action.

Four individual members of the Helpline (details, right) have a special exemption from BSB reporting requirements (rC66 – obligation to report serious misconduct) and are therefore able to provide such advice without being required to report the incident to the BSB. All contact is treated with strict confidentiality at all times, and you can make contact with the helpline without giving your name or from an anonymised email address if you would prefer.

Contact the Helpline

help@westerncircuit.co.uk

Charlotte Feest: 07788 636067
Rachael Goodall: 07775 700939
Anna Vigars QC: 07788 434200
Philip Mott QC: 07971 196044

What we will do

  • Listen to barristers who make contact with us;
  • Set out the relevant parts of the Code of Conduct and the role of the BSB, so barristers have all of the information available to make an informed decision about reporting;
  • Explain the procedures relating to reports to Chambers; the BSB; the Solicitors Regulation Authority/CILEx
  • Regulation; The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office;
  • Discuss whether the barrister wishes to be accompanied when making such a report or at any subsequent attendance at meetings or hearings in relation to such a report, and if so who would be the best person to accompany the barrister;
  • Signpost barristers to other useful information and sources of support;
  • Keep anonymised records.

What we will not do

We will not:

  • Report complaints received under the scheme, either on behalf of barristers who contact us or independently;
  • Investigate complaints;
  • Adjudicate on complaints;
  • Contact the person against whom the complaint is made;
  • Conduct mediation or any other form of discussion with the person against whom the complaint is made;
  • Attempt any other kind of informal resolution of the complaint.

Other sources of advice and support

Bar Council Helpline

Bar Council direct dedicated telephone line:
020 7611 1426

Speak to Sam Mercer or one of her team, who also hold an exemption from reporting requirements for these purposes.

For general information about harassment policies see here.

Find out more

Wellbeing at the Bar

Wellbeing at the Bar has details of many resources you can contact.

Find out more

Lawcare

There is also a free Helpline:
0800 279 6888

Find out more

Samaritans

There is a free Helpline always available:
116 123

Find out more

To request more information or for any enquries    Get in touch

Western Circuit