The Bar Standards Board is made up of a combination of lay people and barristers. It has a lay majority and lay Chair.
Baroness Tessa Blackstone
Baroness Blackstone has enjoyed a distinguished career in education, politics and public life having been a lecturer at the London School of Economics, a member of the Central Policy Review Staff at the Cabinet Office, a Professor at the Institute of Education, Deputy Education Officer of the Inner London Education Authority, Master of Birkbeck College, University of London and Vice Chancellor of the University of Greenwich. She was Minister of State for Education and Employment from 1997 until 2001 and Minister for the Arts from 2001 until 2003. She has been the Chair of the General Advisory Council of the BBC, the British Library Board, the Institute for Public Policy Research, the Franco-British Council, the Royal Institute of British Architects Trust and of the Board of Great Ormond Street Hospital. She is currently Chair of the Orbit Group (housing association), the Trustees of the Asthma UK & British Lung Foundation Partnership and the Trustees of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
Andrew Mitchell QC
Andrew Mitchell QC was called to the Bar in 1992 and took silk in 2011. He specialises in commercial and civil litigation and arbitration. His practice is predominantly in the fields of banking, financial services, professional negligence, professional and financial regulation, and (re)insurance law, with a significant international element. He is a member of the Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR), and also an accredited Mediator. He is a member of Fountain Court Chambers, and was formerly an experienced member of the Professional Conduct Committee of the Bar Standards Board, on which he sat from 2010.
Alison Allden OBE
Alison Allden OBE joined the Bar Standards Board as a Lay Member on 1 January 2017. Alison has a professional background in higher education, IT, culture and archaeology. She retired from the post of Chief Executive at The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) in 2015. Previous senior posts include Deputy Registrar and Director of IS as a member of Bristol University's senior executive team and Director of IT at Warwick University.
Having retired in 2015, Alison maintains a portfolio of non-executive roles including being on the Boards of two universities (Regent's University London and Richmond, The American International University in London). In addition, Alison is on the Board of Study Group UK and an external member on the Cambridge University Information Services Committee. She is also a Trustee of the Gloucestershire County History Trust. She is also currently a Senior Advisor with Wells Advisory UK, a higher education consultancy.
She is a Fellow of the British Computer Society (FBCS), a member of the Institute of Field Archaeologists (MIFA) and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (MCILIP).
Alison was awarded an OBE for Services to Higher Education in the 2016 New Year Honours.
Lara has a range of regulatory and governance expertise. She is a board member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation and of the General Medical Council, and represents the BSB on the Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service Strategic Advisory Board. Her career began as a BBC Television producer and continued as a regulator with Ofcom. As a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University's Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Lara contributed influential reports on press and media regulation to the Leveson Inquiry. She was a member of the UK Statistics Authority's 2016 Steering Group overseeing its Code Review and the introduction of the Office for Statistics Regulation. Lara has a keen interest in criminal justice, was vice chair of the London Probation Trust, and has served as a lay magistrate chairing in the adult court. She has chaired regulatory panels for the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and was a lay examiner for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
Steven Haines joined the Bar Standards Board as a Lay Member on 1 January 2017. Steven is currently an independent advisor and has recently departed from BT Group as a senior executive after 30 years. Prior to this he was Managing Director in the new independent Openreach Executive. Previous roles include Managing Director for BT Group (Mobile), where he was responsible for transformation into a mobile business, and Chief Operating Officer/Managing Director BT Wholesale.
Steve is a highly accomplished senior executive and NED with over 20 years’ experience operating at board level in complex and challenging competitive markets and regulated organisations. A strategic thinker who demonstrates passion, collaboration and drive to deliver outstanding business growth. His inclusive and empathetic leadership style creates a culture of achievement through unity, trust, transparency and personal integrity.
Elizabeth Prochaska is a barrister specialising in public and human rights law. From 2017-2019, she was the Legal Director at the Equality and Human Rights Commission before returning to practice at 11 King's Bench Walk. In 2007, Elizabeth founded a non-governmental organisation called Birthrights, which promotes respect for women's rights in maternity care. Elizabeth is also the Chair of the Public Law Project. She has written and contributed to a number of legal textbooks focusing on human rights and equality law.
Irena Sabic was called to the Bar in October 2002. She is a member of Garden Court Chambers and an established public law practitioner with a particular expertise in immigration and asylum, community care, housing and planning law. In recent years Irena has focussed on the representation of vulnerable children and adults subject to immigration control. Irena is regularly invited to deliver lectures and seminars to solicitors, public bodies and NGOs. She is a Trustee and Board member of Trauma Treatment International.
Nicola is a portfolio non-executive director with over 30 years of business experience. She is a qualified chartered accountant and her business experience has covered a wide variety of sectors including legal services, technology, telecommunications, retail, media, financial services, regulation, housing and charities.
In addition to her role at the BSB she is currently chair at Milton Keynes Development Partnership, chair at CHP Ltd, a board member of the Bar Standards Board, a trustee of the charity Changing Faces, a trustee of The Access to Justice Foundation, a member of the Managing Partners Forum advisory board and an advisor to LegalTech firm Legl.
Adam Solomon QC
Adam Solomon QC read English Literature at Exeter College, Oxford, graduating in 1992, and read for a Master's degree in Critical Theory at Sussex University, graduating in 1994. He took a law conversion course at City University, which he completed in 1997. Prior to being called to the Bar at Gray's Inn in 1998, Adam worked briefly in the European Commission in Brussels, and even more briefly as a school master at Worksop College. Since 2000, Adam has been a Trustee and Director of Law for All (now in administration), a charity committed to providing access to justice for those who might otherwise be denied it. Prior to 2007, Adam practised at Cloisters, and since then he has been a barrister at Littleton Chambers, specialising in commercial, employment and regulatory law.
Kathryn Stone OBE
Kathryn Stone OBE is Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards a post she has held from January 2018. Before that she held the post of Chief Legal Ombudsman for England and Wales. She has also been a Commissioner with the Independent Police Complaints Commission and at Commission for Victims and Survivors in Northern Ireland.
Kathryn is an advisor to an EU Peace Programme, Independent Adjudicator to the Rail Ombudsman and a school governor.
She is a Chartered Director, a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and a Registered Social Worker. She was made OBE in 2007 and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Derby in 2018.
Professor Leslie Thomas QC
Leslie Thomas QC was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2014. A human rights practitioner, Leslie specialises in claims against the police, public authorities and corporate bodies. He is also a specialist in inquests and public inquiries. He is currently an independent member on the Standards Committee for public life for Lewisham Council. He is on the Council executive for the organisation JUSTICE. In 2016, Leslie won the Legal Aid Lawyers' (LALY) Award for work on the Hillsborough case and in 2017, he won the UK Legal Diversity Lifetime achievement award. In June 2020 he was appointed Gresham Professor of Law. He is a Visiting Professor at Goldsmith, University of London.
Stephen Thornton CBE
Stephen's executive career was spent in the health sector where he has been chief executive of Cambridge & Huntingdon Health Authority, The NHS Confederation and The Health Foundation. His health sector non-executive roles have included The Healthcare Commission; Monitor (the independent regulator for NHS foundation trusts); the Eastern Academic Health Science Network and The Pathology Partnership.
He also chaired the National Institute for Health Research's Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care for the East of England. He has been a Member of the Board of Overseers for the International Partnership for Innovative Healthcare Development, Duke University, North Carolina, USA; a Member of the Governing Council of the International Hospital Federation; and a Lay Adviser on the UK Board for Healthcare Chaplaincy.
He has also been a Member of the Governing Council of the Open University.
He is presently a member of the Council of the Nursing & Midwifery Council; is executive director of the Multi-Operator Self Exclusion Scheme for Betting Shops; and Chair of Cambridge City Food Bank.
He is a volunteer generalist adviser at Cambridge and District Citizens' Advice Bureau and is an Elder of Downing Place United Reformed Church, Cambridge.
More about our Board, its meetings and its committees
Discover our Board members' register of interests.
Find out more about our future and past Board meetings.
Learn more about about our Board's committees.