Bar Council ditches its strategy think tank

The Bar Council has disbanded a think tank that was set up four years ago to coordinate its long-term strategic thinking.

Under the shake-up, the planning committee has been abolished and its functions brought under the umbrella of the Bar Council's most senior committee, the general management committee (GMC).

The planning committee was set up in 1993 following a report by the then treasurer Martin Bowley QC, who argued that the GMC was a reactive body incapable of conducting any long-term strategic thinking.

Bar Council chief executive Niall Morrison said that under the reorganisation Heather Hallett QC, vice chair of the Bar Council and a member of the GMC, would assume responsibility for coordinating the Bar's long-term strategy.

"It is within the terms of reference of the GMC that it should set up working groups to look at specific strategic planning matters," he said.

But Bowley criticised the move. He said the GMC was too bogged down in immediate issues to think ahead properly.