Complaints procedure

BV Complaints Procedure

If you have a complaint about the Bona Vacantia Division or any of its staff, please write to the Head of Division, Caroline Harold, who will try to resolve any problem quickly.

You should receive a substantive response within 10 working days from receipt of your complaint. If this is not possible, we will tell you when you can expect our reply.

Complaints should be addressed to:

Caroline Harold at

Government Legal Department

Governnment Legal Department (BVD)
1 Ruskin Square


Switchboard 020 7210 4700

Please use this email address for all general enquiries about the work of the Bona Vacantia Division.

You can complain direct to the Treasury Solicitor, Susanna McGibbon, usually if you are unhappy with the reply you have received from the Division. You can email or write to the above address.

If you are still unhappy after the Department’s reply to your complaint and you feel that you have sustained injustice as a result of maladministration, you may wish to consider an approach to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (the Ombudsman), who investigates complaints made by members of the public about government departments and other bodies. To do this, you will need to make your complaint in writing to an MP who can refer it to the Ombudsman, with your consent, with a request that an investigation be conducted.

There are some complaints on which the Ombudsman does not have jurisdiction to investigate. For example:

  • the investigation of crime, judge’s decisions or matters relating to national security
  • staff issues - such as recruitment, pay and discipline
  • commercial or contractual issues, except where they involve the compulsory purchase of land.

In other cases, there may be another more appropriate organisation to deal with your complaint, for example for some complaints the only or best way for you to get the remedy you want may be through going to Court or to a tribunal

We recommend you call the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Helpline 0845 015 4033 to check that they can help with your complaint and for advice on filling in your form.