23 September 2019

What if you are unhappy with the outcome of your complaint?

Decisions made by us


We decide what to do with complaints by weighing up what evidence there is and how serious the issue is. If you disagree with our assessment, you do not have a right to appeal. We can look again at the decision if you have new evidence or where there is another good reason to. This might be, for example, where staff or members of the Professional Conduct Committee made a mistake and didn't look properly at existing evidence or parts of the complaint. We cannot look again at the decision just because you disagree with it.

If you think you have any new evidence relating to your complaint or another good reason for us to look at the decision again you should let us know in writing, either by email or by letter. You should send it to the case officer who was, or is, responsible for handling your complaint. The officer's name will be at the bottom of the letters you received from us.  If you are not sure who to address your email or letter to, then send the email to assessmentcomplaints@barstandardsboard.org.uk, or a letter to the Professional Conduct Department at the BSB address.


Decisions made by a Disciplinary Tribunal


If you are not happy with the outcome of the Disciplinary Tribunal you cannot appeal the decision or the sentence imposed. However, we can if we can show that the tribunal

  • has taken irrelevant considerations into account,
  • has not taken relevant considerations into account,
  • reached a decision that is wrong in law, or
  • reached a decision no reasonable tribunal would have reached (for example, by imposing too lenient a penalty).

It is quite rare that we have grounds to make an appeal and we cannot appeal just because we disagree with the outcome. 

You do have the right to ask for it to be looked at under Judicial Review. This is a complicated procedure - get legal advice before deciding whether to go down this route.

Please note that neither the Chair nor the Director General of the Bar Standards Board have any powers to overturn decisions taken in relation to individual complaints.


If you are unhappy with how we have dealt with your complaint


If you would like to make a complaint about how we have handled the complaint about you or any action by our staff, you should use our service complaints procedure.

You can make a complaint about any aspect of our service.  See Complaints about our staff for details of how to use our complaints procedure.



The information in these pages applies to barristers, and other people we regulate, in England and Wales.

The law that regulates barristers and lawyers is complicated. We have simplified things to give you an idea of how it applies to your situation. Please don't rely on these pages as a complete statement of the law.

The quotes and cases we refer to are not always real but show a typical situation. We hope they help you to understand the system better and think about what might happen to the complaint.