Veteran campaigner stands for Bar vice-chairmanship

Robin de Wilde QC – the veteran campaigner for greater democracy at the Bar – is set to stand for vice-chairman of the Bar Council in this month's elections.

So far one barrister, Jonathan Hirst QC, has confirmed he will be standing. It is believed that two others, Julian Malins QC – who like Hirst was unsuccessful last year – and Stephen Hockman QC, are also considering standing. However, Nigel Pascoe QC, who stood last year, has been ruled out of the running because of illness in his family.

De Wilde burst onto the Bar's political scene in 1985 when he helped found the Bar democracy movement, known as “The Slate”, with Anthony Scrivener QC and Gareth Williams QC, who both went on to be Bar Council chairmen.

If de Wilde wins it will be a remarkable comeback after being elected back onto the Bar Council last December. At last year's AGM he caused a storm when he likened the Bar Council to a communist regime.

De Wilde played down the speculation and told The Lawyer: “I have nothing to say on the issue.”

Malins, a commercial barrister at One Hare Court, is vice-chairman of the Bar Council's legal services committee; Hirst, a commercial specialist at Brick Court Chambers, chairs the professional standards committee; and Hockman, an administrative barrister who heads 6 Pump Court, is chairman of bar services and IT committee.

Nominations have to be in by 25 September and the vote, by secret ballot, will take place at the Bar Council meeting the next day.