Erskine Chambers welcomes back ex-Bar Council chairman as full-time head

Outgoing Bar Council chairman Michael Todd QC has returned to full-time practice as head of Erskine Chambers.

The 2012 chair was replaced by last year’s vice-chair, Lincoln House Chambers’ Maura McGowan QC, for 2013.

Company law set Erskine has also announced the addition of silks Peter Arden QC from Enterprise Chambers and Raquel Agnello QC from 11 Stone Buildings.

Todd said: ““We’ve always prided ourselves upon our reputation for excellence and our high levels of client service and satisfaction. Peter and Raquel are both outstanding practitioners. They’ll complement the expertise of the existing members of chambers and their arrival is an exciting opportunity for chambers to offer an enhanced service across all areas of company and insolvency law.”

Arden’s practice is in business and financial law, especially insolvency work, and Agnello’s is in corporate and personal insolvency, company and commercial litigation.

During Todd’s year as Bar Council chairman he was critical of HMRC after it launched a tax crackdown on the legal profession (18 September 2012). He began his year with an outspoken condemnation of proposed legal aid spending cuts (7 December 2012).

Incoming Bar Council chair McGowan will oversee the introduction of Barco, a third-party account to handle client payments that is aimed at enabling wider access to the bar providing a payment management system to increase certainty (27 September 2012).

The Bar Council represents the interests of barristers in England and Wales. McGowan is its first female chair since Lady Justice Hallett held the position in 1998.

She has spoken about the importance of a unified bar, saying: “One of the most important challenges of the year ahead is to ensure that the qualities, the levels of excellence in integrity and skill are recognised and appreciated. I see that as the main focus of my role as chairman.”