Pownell is a leading criminal silk who spent 12 years as Treasury Counsel working on controversial cases. This included acting in defence of the 12-year-old who was charged with the murder of Damilola Taylor.
Pownell succeeds David Waters QC, who has been at the helm for seven years and who expanded the set into the corporate field of regulation, white-collar crime and VAT litigation. Waters will remain in practice at the set.
In September the set appointed Maurice MacSweeney to the newly created role of director of business development.
MacSweeney, who joined from international recruitment agency The Charterhouse Partnership, will lead development of non-criminal work.