24 March 2018

Independent review shows Bar regulator’s complaints handling process is operating well

25 September 2015

The Bar Standards Board's complaints handling process is working well, according to a new report published today by the regulator's Independent Observer.

The report was unable to find any major systemic issues or any individual cases giving rise to serious concerns. It highlights good administrative standards in the handling of complaints, clear evidence of decision makers referring to relevant policies, and a demonstrable commitment to fairness when dealing with complaints against barristers.

The report was authored by the Independent Observer, Isobel Leaviss, whose role it is to provide independent assurance to the BSB that its enforcement system is operating in line with its aims and objectives. It is her fourth annual report since her appointment in 2010.

Speaking about her report, Ms Leaviss said, "Overall, my observations have been positive. In particular, compared with this time last year, the BSB is making more concerted efforts to inform the profession about its enforcement role including publicising disbarments. However, there is still more work to be done in improving the transparency and clarity of information about complaints processes on the BSB's website."

As well as the recommendation to overhaul the website information, the report also contains eight other new recommendations for improvement. All of these recommendations have been accepted by the BSB.

Commenting on the report, the BSB's Director General Dr Vanessa Davies said: "I welcome the findings and recommendations set out in this report by our Independent Observer. Her contributions ensure our complaints-handling process is fair, robust, proportionate and independently verified."

The report can be found on the BSB website.

Previous reports by the Independent Observer are available to download from our website.


Notes to editors

About the Bar Standards Board

Our mission is to regulate the Bar so as to promote high standards of practice and safeguard clients and the public interest. For more information about what we do visit: http://bit.ly/1gwui8t

About the Independent Observer

The BSB's lay Independent Observer provides independent assurance that the BSB's enforcement system is operating in line with its aims and objectives. The Independent Observer does not act as an independent adjudicator and cannot respond to individual parties about complaints. For more information, please see: http://bit.ly/1Bs361u

Contact: For all media enquiries call: 0207 611 1452 or email press@barstandardsboard.org.uk.