Andrew Walker QC takes up post as chair of Bar Council

Alys Key
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At The Old Bailey Today
Andrew Walker QC (Source: Bar Council)

The new chair of the representative body for barristers in England and Wales has taken up his position.

Andrew Walker QC takes over from Andrew Langdon QC as the chair of the Bar Council.

Walker is a barrister with Maitland Chambers. He was called to the Bar in 1991 and took silk in 2011. He has been on the Bar Council for 12 years and has served as vice-chair.

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In his inauguration speech delivered in December, he urged barristers to "take back control" of regulation of the profession, after the Bar Standards Board (BSB) decided to withdraw from the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA).

"If we want to avoid what we see as unnecessary regulatory burdens, we must play our part in making them unnecessary," he said. "If we want to avoid the sort of thing that is exemplified by accreditation schemes, some sort of offspring of QASA, or a multiplicity of kite marks, then we must avoid the need for them."

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Walker has also advocated for enticing more young recruits to become barristers, warning that the profession could die out otherwise.

Today it was revealed that there was a surprise 15 per cent increase in enrolments to the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) this year, following four years of decline.

Walker's vice-chair will be Richard Atkins QC of St Philips Chambers, Birmingham. Called to the bar in 1989, he took silk in 2011. He practises predominantly in crime and regulatory law.

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