Supervision after authorisation

After authorisation, we will supervise your entity. The level of supervision will depend on our risk assessment of your entity. You can find out more on the Supervision section of our website.

Review of entity authorisation decisions

If you are unhappy with our decision about your application, you can apply to have it reviewed by the Bar Standards Board in line with the relevant rules at Part 3 - E11 of the Handbook. Details and forms are available in our exemptions and waivers from rules section.

The forms to complete are those labelled, "Review of Entity Authorisation Decision". 

If you are dissatisfied with the decision of the Bar Standards Board, you can appeal to the First Tier Tribunal, in line with rS126 of the Handbook

In all cases, we will communicate our decisions to you and give you more information about these processes.

Suspension / revocation of authorisation

We may suspend or revoke your entity’s authorisation if:

  • you no longer comply with the mandatory requirements for authorisation; or
  • your circumstances have changed in relation to the issues considered by us in granting your authorisation; or
  • it otherwise appears appropriate to us in the light of our regulatory objectives.

If we are considering a change to your authorisation status, we will notify you in writing of the grounds on which we propose to do so and give you an opportunity to make representations. Alternatively, this might happen as a result of disciplinary action against the entity.

Material changes to the entity after authorisation must be notified

All material changes to your entity must be notified to the Entities Team, since it may affect our supervision of your entity or your suitability to be regulated by us. Material changes include:

  • a change of owners, managers, Heads of Legal Practice (HOLP), and Heads of Finance and Administration (HOFA);
  • any changes that may make an owner, manager, HOLP or HOFA unsuitable for their role. Eg criminal convictions or having authorisation to practise withdrawn;
  • a change in the number of authorised individuals providing services through the entity;
  • a change in the number of support staff other than administration/secretarial staff. For example, a change in the number of paralegals; changes to the entity’s business, organisational or governance structures; and any identified increased risk.

We also ask about material changes during the annual entity renewals, but they should be advised as they occur throughout the year and confirmed during renewals.

Statutory interventions

A statutory intervention is the process by which a regulator can take control of a legal practice or entity in the public interest when something has gone seriously wrong. Where an entity is failing, insolvent, unable or unwilling to co-operate with us, or has been abandoned by its owners and managers, we are able to move in and take charge of affairs to protect the interests of clients, to obtain alternative representation for them, and to secure files or other assets which may belong to them.