Bar Standards Board

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The Bar Standards Board regulates barristers in England and Wales for the public interest. It is responsible for:

  • Setting standards of conduct for barristers and authorising barristers to practise;
  • Monitoring the service provided by barristers to assure quality;
  • Setting the education and training requirements for becoming a barrister as well as setting continuing training requirements to ensure that barristers’ skills are maintained throughout their careers; and
  • Handling complaints against barristers and taking enforcement or other action where appropriate

The BSB's functions were originally carried out by the Bar Council, the barristers' representative body, until 2006 when the Bar Council created the BSB as an independent regulator. However, the Legal Services Board has questioned the independence of the BSB from the Bar Council.[1]

The BSB's governing board meets monthly at its headquarters in High Holborn, London, and holds public and private sessions. It has a majority of lay (non-barrister) members and the remainder are barristers. Its chair is The Rt Hon the Baroness Tessa Blackstone who joined in January 2018. The vice-chair, since January 2016, was Naomi Ellenbogen QC, Joint Head of Littleton Chambers. She replaced Patricia Robertson QC. Naomi was appointed to the High Court on 2 November 2020 creating a vacancy in the role of Vice Chair.

Members of the BSB's board as of December 2019[2] are:

Barrister Members: Mr Aidan Christie QC, Mr Andrew Mitchell QC, Dr Leslie Thomas QC, Mr Adam Solomon QC and Irena Sabic.

Lay Members: Ms Alison Allden OBE, Mr Steven Haines, Ms Zoe McLeod, Lara Fielden, Ms Elizabeth Prochaska, Kathryn Stone OBE, Stephen Thornton CBE; and Ms Nicola Sawford.

BSB Entities and Alternative Business Structures[edit]

The Bar Standards Board also authorise and regulate "BSB entities", which fall into two distinct bodies: BSB authorised bodies (previously referred to as "entities") are fully owned and managed by authorised individuals, such as lawyers with a current practising certificate. BSB licensed bodies (also known as "Alternative Business Structures" or ABSs), however, are owned and managed jointly by both authorised and non-authorised individuals.[3] The Bar Standards Board held a workshop at the 2016 Annual Bar Conference,[4] and authorised the first three Licensed Bodies in April 2017, including VII Law, Minerva Law and ShenSmith Law.[5] Licensed bodies have been reported by Thomson Reuters as a leading innovation of the legal industry.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rose, Neil (13 December 2013). "Brothers in arms?". Legal Futures. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  2. ^ "BSB board members".
  3. ^ Bar Standard Board. "Entities, including Alternative Business Structures".
  4. ^ "BSB workshop on Alternative Business Structures".
  5. ^ "BSB Entities' Register". Bar Standards Board. Archived from the original on 31 July 2017.
  6. ^ Roxanne Selby. "Innovation at the Bar: Who is leading the way?". Thomson Reuters.

External links[edit]