Commenting on her appointment, Dr Vanessa Davies said, “I am delighted to have been appointed to the post of Director at the Bar Standards Board and to have the opportunity to continue its work as a first class professional regulator. There are difficult times ahead as the profession responds to two major challenges – the spending cuts and the new ways of working made possible by the Legal Services Act 2007.

I look forward to working with my staff and the wide range of organisations and individuals across and beyond the profession to support users of legal services and barristers alike.” Vanessa joins the BSB following her work as the Director of Operations at Refugee and Migrant Justice, previously one of the largest legal aid charities in the UK. There she was responsible for professional training, standards and compliance for accredited paralegals and caseworkers, as well as solicitors and barristers.

Vanessa started her working life as an academic linguist. Once she had completed her British Academy Post Doctoral Fellowship in French at King’s College London she became the Director of the KCL Language Centre, establishing it as one of the leading centres in the UK for applied language studies. She 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. Commenting on Dr Davies’ appointment, Baroness Ruth Deech, Chairman of the Bar Standards Board, said,

“We are delighted to welcome Vanessa to the Bar Standards Board and I look forward to working with her. With her legal background, wealth of experience and consumer focus, I am sure that she will tackle the demands of legal regulation head-on. Vanessa will replace Mandie Lavin who has served the Bar magnificently and has ensured that the BSB is in the best position to deal with the ever-changing legal landscape.”