The role of the Independent Reviewer is to assist us in ensuring that our regulatory decisions remain of a high quality, that we are effective and fair, and that all the correct processes and procedures have been followed properly.

The Independent Reviewer has two main responsibilities:

  • to carry out reviews of decisions taken by staff and the Independent Decision-making Body, where a person affected by the decision thinks the decision is wrong (the Independent Review cannot look at all decisions and normally reviews decisions not to take action in relation to a concern that has been reported to us): and
  • to carry out regular reviews of a random sample of cases and decisions to check that the outcomes are fair, consistent, and are in line with what we are supposed to do as the regulator of barristers.  

The Independent Reviewer will check that all the correct processes and procedures have been followed properly in each case that they review and that there has been appropriate consideration of equality, diversity and inclusion issues.

We can also ask the Independent Reviewer to conduct thematic reviews of areas of our work in taking regulatory decisions and make recommendations about changes we could make to improve our systems. 

The Independent Reviewer does not have the power to take decisions on individual cases but can recommend that we look at a case again or change a decision. Our senior staff will decide whether a case should be sent to the Independent Reviewer to look at. You should contact the person dealing with your case if you think the outcome of a report should be looked at again. 

The Independent Reviewer does not enter into correspondence with either or any of the parties requesting a review. Where a party does contact her directly, she will read the communication and forward it to the relevant department to provide a response or take such other action as required. 

The current Independent Reviewer is Velia Soames. She has been appointed for three years starting on 2 September 2019.