Campaigning QC stages Bar Council comeback

ROBIN de Wilde QC – the veteran Bar democracy campaigner – has completed the first stage of a political comeback after being elected back on to the Bar Council.

And de Wilde – who caused a furore at the Bar Council's AGM in June when he likened the council to a communist regime – has not ruled out making a bid to lead the profession.

The professional negligence specialist burst on to the Bar Council political scene in 1985 when he helped found the Bar democracy movement, known as “The Slate”, with Anthony Scrivener QC and Gareth Williams QC (now Lord Williams of Mostyn), who both went on to become Bar Council chairmen.

However, at that stage in his career de Wilde was too junior to stand for the leadership himself and he stood down from the council after five years.

But he continued to maintain a close interest in Bar Council politics and at June's AGM he tabled a motion calling on the profession's leaders to be elected by the entire profession, not just the Bar Council.

He told The Lawyer last week that he felt such a move would be going too far, although he believed the Bar Council itself should become more democratic and accountable.

He added: “We have got to go on reforming ourselves to ensure that we remain distinct from solicitors.”