Male criminal hacks make way for female commercial barristers as Bar Council unveils new chiefs

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By Alex Aldridge on

All change in bar top doggery for 2016


A pair of female commercial barristers have replaced the outgoing male criminal practitioners at the head of the Bar Council.

Atkin Chambers infrastructure and energy specialist Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC (pictured) succeeds Alistair MacDonald QC, a criminal silk from Leeds’ New Park Court Chambers, as chair of the Bar Council.

Meanwhile, Louisa Nye, a property law expert at Landmark Chambers, takes over from 9-12 Yard crime and extradition junior Daniel Sternberg as head of the Young Barristers’ Committee.

With the criminal bar in a terrible state relative to the thriving commercial branch of the profession, and a gender diversity campaign set to boost female representation at QC and judge level in the year ahead, the Bar Council’s appointments seem very of the moment.

While the holders of these roles don’t do that much, they are frequently dragged out to provide quotes to the press — and as such are symbolically important.

Certainly students who are considering a career at the bar should take note of the fact that both Doerries and Nye studied at Cambridge and work at very wealthy chambers. Indeed, Atkin is the bar’s top payer of pupils, with rookies earning a whopping £72,500, while Landmark pays a pupillage award of £55,000.

Andrew Langdon QC and Duncan McCombe have been named as Doerries and Nye’s deputies.