Our Benchers form the Council of Lincoln’s Inn, the Inn’s governing body. The Inn undertakes a number of regulated activities in relation to qualification for the Bar. Further details on our governance and regulation are set out below.
In addition, the four Inns of Court collaborate via the Council of the Inns of Court (COIC). This body co-ordinates work that the four Inns of Court undertake jointly. It is chaired by a President and comprises the Treasurers, Under Treasurers, and nominated Trustees of the Inns. The Bar Council and BSB also attend COIC meetings. COIC is also responsible for administering the Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service (BTAS), the Inns’ Conduct Committee (ICC), and the Inns of Court College of Advocacy (ICCA).
The Inn has a number of roles and responsibilities in relation to the education, training, and qualification of barristers of England and Wales. The rules and regulations that govern these roles and responsibilities are set out in a number of places, namely:
BSB Handbook (Part 4: Qualification Rules)
Bar Qualification Manual (Part 3: The Role of the Inns)
Memorandum of Understanding between the Inns and the BSB, including Schedule 1: Guidelines for Fit and Proper Person Checks, Schedule 2: Qualifying Sessions Framework, Schedule 3: Data Sharing Protocol, and Schedule 4: Assurance Framework
Joint Inns’ Education and Qualification Rules
There are transitional arrangements in place for students who commenced the Bar Course prior to 1 June 2020, students who started undertaking qualifying sessions prior to 1 June 2020, and transferring lawyers admitted prior to 1 September 2020. Please refer to the tables in the Joint Inns’ Education and Qualification Rules for further information.
Officers of the Inn
The Officers of the Inn are Benchers elected annually to hold certain positions within the Inn for a one-year term. The Treasurer is the head of the Inn. The Treasurer is supported by the other Officers, namely the Keeper of the Library, the Keeper of the Black Book, and the Keeper of the Walks. The role of Dean of the Chapel is usually held by the Keeper of the Black Book but may be held by another Officer.
Officers of the Inn for 2023
Treasurer – The Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Vos
Sir Geoffrey Vos was appointed Master of the Rolls and Head of Civil Justice in England and Wales on 11 January 2021. In addition to being President of the Court of Appeal’s Civil Division, the Master of the Rolls is chair of both the Civil Justice Council and the Civil Procedure Rule Committee. He is chair of the Advisory Council on National Records and Archives and of the Forum on Historical Manuscripts and Academic Research. As a member of the LawtechUK Panel and as chair of its UK Jurisdiction Taskforce, he contributes to the government-backed initiative supporting the technological transformation of the UK legal sector.
He was elected a Bencher in 2000. He serves as Chair of the Planning and Development Group and sits on the Wine Committee. He previously served on the Admission, Call and Pupillage Committee and the Finance and General Purposes Committee.
The Immediate Past Treasurer is Jonathan Crow KC.
Keeper of the Library – The Rt Hon Lord Briggs of Westbourne
Lord Briggs practised in commercial and chancery work before being appointed to the High Court in 2006. He was the judge in charge of the extensive Lehman insolvency litigation from 2009 to 2013. He was appointed as a Lord Justice of Appeal in 2013. In January 2016 he was appointed Deputy Head of Civil Justice. He became a Justice of The Supreme Court in October 2017.
He was elected a Bencher in 2001. He serves on the Planning and Development Group, the Finance and General Services Committee and the Library Committee. He previously served as Chair of the Chapel Committee and as a member of the Advisory (Benchers) Committee and the Rent Executive Committee.
Keeper of the Black Book and Dean of Chapel – The Hon Sir Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan was called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn in 1975 and took silk in 1992. He specialised in property law. He was appointed a High Court Judge in 2007 and was assigned to the Chancery Division. He retired as a judge in September 2021 and now practises as an arbitrator and mediator from Wilberforce Chambers. He was appointed a member of the KC Appointments Panel with effect from January 2023.
He was elected as a bencher in 2001 and in the past he has served as Chair of the Estates Committee and as a member of the Finance and General Purposes Committee and the Pre-Call Committee. He is now Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee and a member of the Planning and Development Group, the Chapel Committee and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
Keeper of the Walks – Elspeth Talbot Rice KC
Elspeth Talbot Rice was called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn in 1990 and took Silk in 2008. She is head of chambers at XXIV Old Buildings, Lincoln’s Inn and specialises in contentious Chancery matters, in particular international trust disputes.
She became a Bencher in 2012 and currently serves on the Planning and Development Group, the Finance and General Purposes Committee and the Gardens Committee. She served as Chair of the Hospitality, Events and Dining committee for several years and has also served on the Information Technology Board and the Staff and Wine committees.
Council is the governing body of the Inn; made up of all the Benchers of the Inn. Council meetings are usually held ten times a year. Council is responsible for the oversight of the Inn’s functions and the election of new Benchers. The detailed oversight is carried out by the Inn’s Standing Committees.
Standing Orders is the document by which rules and guidance is stated in relation to the administration of the Society.
Members of the Inn may request a copy from Liz Carter, EA to the Under Treasurer or locate a copy in the Library.
The Benchers are joined in carrying out their governance of the Inn by the Bar Representation Committee (BRC). This Committee exists to provide representation of the views of our Called members who have not been elected Benchers. BRC members sit on almost all of the Inn’s Standing Committees, where they play an active role in the governance of the Inn.