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The joint head of media set 5 Raymond Buildings, Desmond Browne QC, has been elected as the next chairman of the Bar Council, it was announced today (16 July)
Browne, who is the current vice chair and also chaired the Bar's working group on the Legal Services Act, will take over from Tim Dutton QC on 1 January 2009.
Browne said that being elected to the chairmanship is a great honour as well as a formidable challenge.
"Publicly-funded practitioners are under greater threat than ever before, with cuts to both criminal and family fees and the prospect of price competitive tendering," said Browne. "The profession as a whole is also having to confront the new models of practice envisaged as the Legal Services Board sets to work."
Browne, who was called to the bar in 1969 and took silk in 1990, said that he knows he can count on every member of the profession, to ensure that access to justice for all remains the bar's paramount concern.
Dutton added that Browne will continue to push a range of matters from public funding to the international agenda.
"The Government has passed and has in progress a raft of legislative initiatives of interest and, in some cases, concern to members of the Bar," explained Dutton. "In all of this, I have been working closely with Desmond Browne as vice chairman. He is a barrister of real distinction, and will provide wise counsel and leadership for the profession."