15 September 2019

Our Director General

Dr Vanessa Davies thumbnail

Dr Vanessa Davies

Dr Vanessa Davies is the Director General of the Bar Standards Board (BSB). She took office in January 2011.

Prior to joining the BSB, Vanessa was the deputy Chief Executive and Director of Operations at Refugee and Migrant Justice (RMJ), which was one of the largest legal aid charities in the UK, supporting over 7,000 vulnerable people on an annual basis across 11 locations in the UK. She was responsible for professional training, standards and compliance of solicitors, barristers, accredited caseworkers and paralegals. She oversaw the closure of the charity in 2010 when it went into administration after changes to legal aid contracting.

Vanessa started her working life as a linguist. She was a British Academy post-doctoral fellow in French at King's College London and then the Director of the Language Centre there, establishing it as one of the leading centres in the UK for applied language studies. Dr Davies then spent nearly a decade at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, first as Director of the Diplomatic Service Language Centre and subsequently as a Group Director overseeing a range of services in support of UK foreign policy.

Vanessa left the world of languages in 2005 and trained for the Bar. She is an unregistered barrister, and a Bencher of Inner Temple.

Vanessa has declared the following interests

  • Trustee of Law for Life (as from April 2017) - a charity dedicated to ensuring that people have the knowledge, confidence and skills needed to secure access to justice.
  • Board member of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education appointment from December 2017 for for three years. 
  • non-executive Director, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service ie the prosecution service in Scotland (term ends 21/12/21)

Contact: Jeanette Fordyce-Harvey, Personal Assistant to Dr Vanessa Davies.