We know that, as in any organisation, things can sometimes go wrong. We want you to tell us if this happens, so that we can put things right if at all possible and learn from any mistakes.

This policy sets out our approach and procedures for handling complaints about the services provided by the Bar Standards Board (BSB).

In many cases a problem can be dealt with quickly and informally as soon as it arises. Please raise your problem with the staff member concerned, or with their manager. Contact details can be found on our website here, or by calling the central phone number 020 7611 1444.

To formally register your complaint, either fill in our service complaints form, or write to:
FAO: Corporate Services Team
Bar Standards Board
289-293 High Holborn
London WC1V 7HZ
DX: 240 LDE
Email: [email protected]

Phone: 020 7611 1444

Please provide:

  • your contact details;
  • a concise account of your concerns;
  • the names of the people involved; and
  • an indication of how you think your complaint could be resolved.

Our service complaints policy does not cover reviews of the substance of decisions taken by staff and the Independent Decision-making Body.  If you think that such a decision has been made wrongly, you should contact the  person with whom you have been dealing and ask them to refer your case to one of the Independent Reviewers.  You can find more information on our website.

Concerns about a barrister and complaints about regulatory decisions and hearings

We have different systems for dealing with the following:

Responses to service complaints

You can expect a full response within 20 working days. If this is not possible, we will write to you to explain the reasons why, and to provide a new date.


We will send you a response in writing letting you know how we investigated the complaint, what we found and what we propose to do.

If you are dissatisfied with the response to your service complaint, you can request a review by a more senior manager. This will normally be the manager of the person who provided the response to your service complaint, but it may also be appropriate for another senior manager or a director to carry out the review.  The reviewing manager will consider the response you were given, along with any relevant papers.  It may be that the reviewing manager will need to make further enquiries before they can provide you with a response.

What we expect from complainants

Investigations of service complaints generally require a detailed understanding of the actions and communications that happened at the time of the event, so complaints should be made as soon as possible after the event occurs. This enables us to consider, investigate and act on any issues raised in the best way possible.

To handle and investigate feedback and complaints effectively, we ask for your full cooperation, so that we can fully understand any concerns and deal with the issues you have raised.

There are some circumstances where we will not investigate a complaint, for example:

  • Complaints previously considered by us under this policy about the same or substantially similar issues, unless there is new evidence not originally available to us.
  • service complaints made by third parties without clear authority to act on behalf of the complainant or the person we have previously been dealing with.
  • Service complaints that we consider to be malicious or vexatious.

We will not tolerate abusive language or behaviour directed at our staff and will take appropriate action if we consider someone’s behaviour is unacceptable.


We are always pleased to receive comments and feedback. If you want to tell us about our service, we encourage you to contact us whether that be to:

  • provide feedback about a member of staff;
  • offer suggestions for improvements to our services;
  • share the positive experience you have had with us; or
  • pass on comments about our publications, website or services.