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Call to the Bar

Middle Temple arranges Call ceremonies four times every year. The published Call dates are usually the third Thursday in March (prior to 2022 this was the second Thursday), the fourth Thursday in July, the second Thursday in October and the fourth Thursday in November, however ceremonies may be held on other dates.

During the pandemic, from October 2020 to March 2021, Call ceremonies were conducted online. We were able to hold ceremonies in-person July to November 2021 without guests present in the Hall. Since March 2022 we have reverted back to Call ceremonies with guets present in Hall, whilst also providing an online option for those unable to be Called in person. See 'Information on Call Day' below for further details.

Criminal Records Check

Please bear in mind that for those wishing to be Called on or after 1st July 2021 the Bar Standards Board will also require a ‘Standard’ DBS check and the international equivalents for all candidates. Further details are below.

Upcoming Call dates


The Call ceremonies currently scheduled for 2022 are:

  • Hilary Call: 23 & 24 March 2022
  • Trinity Call: 27 & 28 July 2022
  • deferred Trinity Call: 13 October 2022
  • Michaelmas Call: 23 & 24 November 2022



The Call ceremonies currently scheduled for 2023 are:

  • Hilary Call: 22 & 23 March 2023
  • Trinity Call: 26 & 27 July 2023
  • Deferred Trinity Call: 12 October 2023
  • Michaelmas Call: 22 & 23 November 2023


For details see below.

Requirements to be eligible for Call

BPTC Students

Students can be Called to the Bar once they have successfully completed the Bar Course and been credited with the requisite number of Qualifying Sessions (click here for further details) These QS must be completed during a period of no more than five years ending on the date on which that person is Called to the Bar. 

Applications can be submitted before Bar Course results have been confirmed, and before all Qualifying Sessions have been completed, but Call to the Bar may only take place when all pre-conditions are met.

It has previously been possible to attend the reception after your Call ceremony as your 12th QS. However, please bear in mind that this will no longer be the case from Trinity 2021 onwards. From Trinity Call 2021, i.e. July 2021, the collegiate event after Call will no longer count as a QS. 


Specially Qualified Applicants

Specially Qualified Applicants (Transferring Solicitors, Qualified Lawyers, Legal Academics, etc.) can be Called to the Bar once they have made a successful application to the Qualifications Committee of the Bar Standards Board for Call to the Bar of England and Wales, completed the Bar Transfer Test (BTT) if required, and joined the Inn.  Any transferring lawyers who receive approval from the BSB on or after 1 September 2020 will be required to complete the requisite number of Qualifying Sessions before Call (click here for further details) .

Applications can be submitted before BTT results have been confirmed, and before all Qualifying Sessions have been completed, but Call to the Bar may only take place when all pre-conditions are met.


Due to a policy change the Inns no longer require reference letters for Call.

Criminal Records Check

Please bear in mind that for those wishing to be Called on or after 1st July 2021 the Bar Standards Board will also require a ‘Standard’ DBS check and the international equivalents for all candidates. Further details are below.

Criminal records checks


As of 2021, the Bar Standards Board requires that all those applying for Call to the Bar undergo a Standard UK Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal record check. Additionally, those who have resided in a country/countries outside of the UK for 12 months or more, at any point during the 5 years preceding their application for Call, will need to undergo the equivalent international criminal record check/s. 

The DBS check will form part of the Fit and Proper Person checks required prior to Call to the Bar; further information regarding these checks can be found here.  
Collectively, the Inns of Court have engaged an experienced external company, Due Diligence Checking Ltd (DDC), to administer the process of obtaining the necessary checks. We are confident that this will ensure the process is as straightforward as possible for you.

The Inn will submit your name and contact details to DDC.  We will notify you by email once this information has been submitted. 

A summary of the process plus further details is below. Please complete the process ASAP as you cannot be Called if your checks are not complete by 2 weeks before the Call ceremony.

  1. DDC will contact you and request further information including your address history.
  2. You will be required to send a number of ID documents to DDC, who will then conduct a video call with you to verify your identity.  These documents (which usually include one or more of the following: passport, drivers licence, national identity card) must be sent in original hard copy – this is a requirement of the DBS (a government body) and as such cannot be altered by the Inns or the BSB.
  3. Once the ID check is complete, your DBS check (UK) will be obtained. This certificate will be posted to you by the DBS - you do not need to send it to the Inn unless it contains any content.
  4. DDC will also notify you if you require any international checks and any additional information/action required for these.  There is an additional cost for these, see below.


Update on waivers (28/2/22): In response to the Covid pandemic the Bar Standards Board introduced a very limited waiver in 2021 in relation to obtaining criminal records checks for Call. This has now been extended to 2022.  See below for the full policy and application form.



Please note that the costs associated with obtaining the criminal records checks are separate, and in addition, to the Inn's Call fee (£125).

The Inns will cover the cost of the DDC administration fee. Only the actual costs associated with the checks will be passed onto the applicant. 
You will need to pay for the cost of the Standard DBS check at £18.00.  Additional costs for the following might also be applicable:

  • the cost for the relevant international check/s
  • the cost for translation, if the criminal record report is produced in a language other than English
  • the cost for identification (ID) verification via a video call 
  • the courier/postage costs associated with sending identification documentation (ID) to DDC (if ID is verified via a video call)

Click here for an overview of all related costs

Identification (ID) Checks 

A crucial part of the DBS process is the verification of applicant identification (ID) by DDC.

As current government guidelines prevent DDC from verifying applicant ID in person, the Inns have agreed to cover the cost (£14.40) for DDC to verify ID via a video link for all those applying for Call in 2021. As of February 2022, this has been extended to those applying for Calls in 2022 or March 2023.

Applicants who currently reside in the UK will only be required to pay for the postage/courier costs associated with sending identification documentation to DDC. Applicants residing outside of the UK will also have to pay for the postage/courier costs associated with having their identification documentation returned to them.

The Inns unanimously agreed to the above as a direct response to the impact of COVID-19. As restrictions ease this interim arrangement will be kept under review and is subject to change. Individuals seeking to apply for Call will be informed of any future changes in due course.

Lifespan of Checks 

You must have undergone the required criminal record check/s before you can be called to the Bar. Each check has a lifespan of 12 months from the date of issuance and will be considered valid for any Call ceremonies scheduled to occur within that period. 

We cannot accept previously obtained DBS checks or criminal record checks issued by other organisations.

Processing Time for Checks

After you have submitted the online application form, paid the required fees and the identification (ID) checks have been completed; DDC will seek to obtain the Standard UK DBS check and, if required, the necessary international criminal record check/s.

The check/s will be returned to the applicant and Inn as follows:

  • Standard UK DBS check – within 3 working days
  • International checks – within 12 working days for the majority of checks, but processing times will vary country to country. For further guidance on the processing time for a specific country, please contact DDC. 

The Inn will receive notification from DDC of the outcome of these checks. Callees are only required to submit their DBS certificate to the Inn if it contains content. 


Privacy Notice  

To facilitate these checks, and to ensure they are carried out in good time for applicants to be called to the Bar, it is necessary for the Inn to transfer some of your data to Due Diligence Checking Ltd (DDC). The Inn’s privacy policy can be accessed here


Additionally, it may be necessary for DDC to undertake a search with an external organisation for the purposes of verifying your identity. To do so, the organisation (Experian Limited) may check the name, address and date of birth you supply against any particulars on any database (public or otherwise) to which they have access. A record of the search will be retained but will not be visible to other parties or affect your credit rating. You will be required to provide written consent for this search to be undertaken ahead of the process of obtaining criminal record checks commencing. 

* this is consent required for DDC's business purposes and is not consent for the processing of data under GDPR

Waiver for criminal record checks for those applying for Call in 2021 and 2022

In response to the Covid pandemic the BSB has introduced a very limited waiver in relation to obtaining criminal records checks for Call. This applies to those overseas for whom it would be unlawful to send their original ID documentation or to do so would represent a threat to their personal safety or freedom. The full policy and application form can be downloaded from this page. You must apply to the Inn to request the granting of the waiver. Email your completed form to

Further Questions

DDC have been tasked with delivering applicant identification (ID) checks, obtaining DBS standard checks and, if necessary, obtaining the equivalent overseas checks. After reading the above, and once the Inn has referred you to DDC, if you have queries regarding the process, please contact DDC here and not the Inn. 

Applying to be Called

You must make an application to be Called - you are not automatically assigned to be Called. 

Application for Trinity (July/October) Calls 2022 has now CLOSED 

The application for the Trinity Calls (July/October 2022) is now closedThe deadline to apply was Monday 28 March.

Applications for Michaelmas Call (November 2022) will open in mid-May late-May and close in mid-June.  Applications for Hilary Call (March 2023) will open in mid-May late-May and close in mid-October.  [Note: applications will open later than planned once we have confirmed details.]

Please be aware that:

  • You will be required to submit certified copies of any degree certificates (excluding the Bar Course) not previously submitted to the Inn (i.e. any degrees you have completed since joining the Inn).  Alternatively we can accept an email directly from your university confirming your degree results and date of conferment - please ask them to email
  • The Inn will receive your Bar Course result directly from your provider, so there is no need for you to provide any proof of this.
  • You will not be asked to pay the Call fee until approximately 2 weeks before your Call ceremony.
  • If you are Called remotely, you cannot take part in another Call ceremony on a later date. 

Your name as it will appear on your Call certificate

You will be Called using your full name, including middle names. This will be printed on your Call certificate and also published in the Times, Telegraph and Independent newspapers.
If due to cultural convention you would like your name to appear in a different order from first name ~ middle names ~ surname please specify this on the application form.

Call Fee (£125)

Payment of the Call fee will be requested around 2 weeks before Call.  This is an administrative fee and is required whether you are Called in person, in Absentia or online.

Postponing a Call application

If you submit a Call application and subsequently need to postpone your Call date, your application is not automatically carried over. However, an application remains valid for a Call date in the same calendar year in which the form was submitted or the March Call of the following calendar year. The applicant must request to postpone their Call application in writing by emailing Beyond this timeframe a new application must be submitted. For example:

Date of submission Call date requested Call dates it is possible to postpone application to
February 2021 July 2021 October, November 2021 or March 2022
October 2021 March 2022 none - a new application will be required for a Call date after March


Information on Call Day & publication of Call lists

Call ceremony format

Call in person

As of 2022, Call ceremonies will be back to the usual format in Middle Temple Hall, with guests in attendance.  We can usually only permit 2 guests per Callee (due to space and fire regulations).

Each ceremony is followed by a reception. Callees will be provided with details and invited to book tickets approximately 2 weeks beforehand.

Call online

For any Callees who are unable to attend in person, or would prefer not to do so, you can opt to attend one of the ceremonies online instead. You will join a Zoom meeting and will be able to see others being Called online along with the Benchers conducting the ceremony.  We will try our best to show those attending online on the YouTube livestream during the ceremony, but cannot guarantee this.

Livestream of Call ceremonies

We will livestream ceremonies via YouTube to enable unlimited friends and family to watch the ceremony from wherever in the world they may be.  

Publication of Call lists

Please note that the names of all the students who are Called to the Bar (Callees) will be published in the Times, the Telegraph and the Independent newspapers after the date of Call. 

The actual date of publication will vary depending on availability of space in the newspapers.  Full names are published in order of Call; grades are not included.  

Dress code for Callees

If attending a Call ceremony in person:

You must attend the Call ceremony in full court dress including wig, gown and bands.

In addition to the wig, gown and bands, Callees should wear;

  • a plain black (or very dark grey) suit. Your jacket must be buttoned up at the front (a double-breasted or three piece suit is traditionally worn by men).
  • a white wing collar shirt or collarette – google for pictures if you’re unsure what either of these are!
  • formal, black shoes.  Sandals and open-toe footwear are not appropriate. When choosing your footwear, do bear in mind that you will be standing for the length of the ceremony. 
  • hair tied back if it is below shoulder length 

Hire of wig, gown and bands

Unless you own a wig, gown and bands you will need to hire them for the Call day from Ede & Ravenscroft (approx. £36). 

It is your responsibility to book these in advance and collect and return them. Whilst booking may be open on the Ede and Ravenscroft hire website earlier, you can wait until any pending results have been confirmed before booking your items. Booking will usually close around a week before the Call.

Collection and return of these items will either be from the Ede and Ravenscroft shop on Chancery Lane or from on-site at the Inn , depending on the arrangements for your specific Call.  You will be notified of these details by the Inn approximately 2 weeks before the Call.

You will need your Middle Temple membership card when you collect your items. If you don’t have one, email a photo of yourself and a copy of photo ID to to request one.  Mention that you are being Called and indicate whether you’d like the card posting to you or you will collect it from the office.

Wing-collared shirts and collarettes

Along with the hire of court dress, you will need to purchase either a wing-collared shirt (or a plain dress shirt, as worn for black tie, would suffice) or a collarette in advance (they cannot be rented or bought on the day at the Inn).

A number of possible suppliers are listed below. 

The first legal outfitter dedicated to courtwear for women, Ivy & Normanton was founded by a junior member of the bar (and Middle Templar)


If attending a Call ceremony remotely:

You are welcome to wear full court dress detailed above if it is available to you, but it is not compulsory for those Called online.  You must wear a suit and present yourself smartly.


We can usually only permit 2 guests per Callee (due to space and fire regulations). Guests will attend the ceremony in Hall – seating is unassigned.  

Please contact us on if any of your guests have any access requirements.

Each ceremony will also be available to watch online, for those friends and family who cannot attend in person.

Dress code for guests

The dress code for guests is ‘lounge suits’.  This means that guests should dress reasonably formally (for example a suit with a shirt and tie, or a dress or trousers/skirt with smart top). Guests are not obligated to wear dark colours or a white shirt; colours are fine.  National dress is also welcome.