The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has appointed Velia Soames to the new role of Independent Reviewer. The appointment is part of wider changes to our regulatory decision-making processes that will be introduced on 15 October.
The key responsibilities of the Independent Reviewer will include carrying out requests for the review of individual decisions; and periodic audits of cases to give assurance that the BSB's regulatory decision-making is operating fairly and effectively and in line with agreed policies and procedures.
BSB Director of Professional Conduct, Sara Jagger, said: "I am delighted to welcome Velia Soames to the role of Independent Reviewer. Velia possesses a wealth of experience which will be invaluable in assisting us to ensure that we maintain high standards in our regulatory decision making."
Notes to editors
About Velia Soames
Velia Soames is a solicitor with substantial experience in regulation and complaints handling. After private practice as a litigator in a City firm she moved into the professional standards and conduct field, most recently working as Head of Professional Conduct at the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Before that, she led the standards and conduct departments at the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and the General Osteopathic Council and was a legal adviser and team leader at the Pensions Ombudsman's Office. She currently also serves as a lay member of the Disciplinary Board of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, and volunteers as a lay member on the Public Protection Committee of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
About the BSB's modernisation of its regulatory decision making
In March 2018, the BSB launched a consultation seeking views on the final stage of the Governance Reform outlined in its 2016-2019 Strategic Plan. The aim was to change how the BSB deals with the information it receives as the regulator and to revise its decision-making structures in relation to professional conduct issues.
As part of change, the BSB has also announced the appointment of the new Independent Decision-making Body (IDB), consisting of a pool of barrister and lay members. The Independent Decision-making Body has been created to take independent decisions on relevant regulatory issues including enforcement of the professional obligations of those regulated by the BSB, and the authorisation of certain types of individuals and entities to provide legal services.
About the Bar Standards Board
Our mission is to regulate barristers and specialised legal services businesses in England and Wales in the public interest. For more information about what we do visit www.barstandardsboard.org.uk
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