Cab-rank rule In English law (and other countries which adopt the rule), the cab-rank rule is the obligation of a barrister to accept any work in a field in which they profess themselves competent to practise, at a court at which they normally appear, and at their usual rates. The rule derives its name from the tradition by which a Hackney carriage driver at the head of a queue of taxicabs is obliged to take the first passenger requesting a ride. The cab rank rule is set out at rC29 of the Bar Standards Board Handbook. It states that if the barrister receives instructions from a professional client and the instructions are appropriate taking into account their experience, seniority and/or field of practice, they must (subject to the exceptions in rC30) accept those instructions irrespective of: The identity of the client; The nature of the case to which the instructions relate; Whether the client is paying privately or is publicly funded; and Any belief or opinion which you may have formed as to the character, reputation, cause, conduct, guilt or innocence of the client. Without the cab-rank rule, an unpopular person might not get legal representation; barristers who acted for them might be criticised for doing so.