Owen wins Bar Council election

ROBERT Owen QC has been elected to the vice-chairmanship of the Bar Council, beating Hilary Heilbron QC and Rodney Klevan QC to the post.

Owen, the current professional standards chair, will take over from David Penry-Davy QC in January when Penry-Davy assumes the chairmanship.

Heilbron, who was unavailable for comment, has now been rejected by the Bar Council on two separate occasions.

She stood unsuccessfully against Peter Goldsmith QC in 1993, but avoided the 1994 battle between Martin Bowley QC and Penry-Davey, who was widely regarded as the establishment choice.

Rodney Klevan QC, Manchester silk and outgoing leader of the northern circuit, said a “very strong” candidate had won. He denied that his defeat had been a snub for the provincial Bar.

Meanwhile, in-house barrister Michael Blair was re-elected unopposed as Bar Council treasurer.

Blair, head of policy and legal affairs at the Securities and Investments Board, was the first employed officer to become an officer of the General Council of the Bar.

Earlier this year the Bar Council abolished a rule preventing in-house counsel from become chair or vice-chair.

Blair said he had not ruled out making a bid for the vice chairmanship.