New head of the barristers' profession takes office

Posted On: 
4th January 2019

Richard Atkins QC has become Chair of the Bar Council for 2019, the representative body for all 16,000 barristers in England & Wales. He takes over from outgoing Chair, Andrew Walker QC.

Practising from St Philips Chambers, Birmingham, Richard was called to the Bar in 1989 and took silk in 2011. He practises in criminal and regulatory law (health and safety and trading standards). Richard has been a Recorder since 2005, a Mental Health Tribunal Judge since 2014 and a Legal Chair for the Financial Reporting Council Disciplinary Tribunal. Richard became a member of the Bar Council in 2003 and was Chair of the Bar Council's Member Services Board from 2010 until 2016 and Co-Chair of the Bar Council's Bar Representation Board from 2016 to 2017. In 2014, Richard chaired the Annual Bar Conference. Richard was Leader of the Midland Circuit from 2014 to 2017. He is a Bencher of Gray's Inn. Outside the Bar, Richard was a Governor of the Coventry School Foundation (King Henry VIII and Bablake schools) from 1999 until 2014, becoming Chairman of the Governors from 2011-2014.

Amanda Pinto QC of 33 Chancery Lane is Vice Chair for 2019. She was called to the Bar in 1983 and took silk in 2006, specialising in fraud, money laundering, business wrong-doing and corruption cases with an international dimension. She writes the leading textbook Pinto and Evans on Corporate Criminal Liability. Amanda co-chaired the Bar's Rule of Law Group from 2013 - 2015 and was Chair of the Bar Council’s International Committee 2015-2018. She is a Recorder and a Bencher of Middle Temple. Amanda is Deputy Chair of the Tate Members Council and a trustee of the Slynn Foundation. She is a champion of the First 100 Years project and a supporter of Refugee Action and Liberty.

Grant Warnsby of BP becomes Treasurer of the Bar, 2019. He was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1997. He also qualified as a chartered accountant while working on international tax matters with Coopers & Lybrand (latterly PwC). He is an employed barrister specialising in the oil and gas industry, having worked at BP since 2004. Working in the upstream business, he has been based at the Rumaila oil field in Basra, Iraq. Prior to that his role included supporting BP's 2010 disposal programme as well as its regulatory compliance work. Grant also spent several years in Moscow both inside and outside of the TNK-BP joint venture. He has worked closely with the Bar Council over the years as a member of both the Bar Council’s Employed Barristers' Committee and the Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group. Grant is also Senior Vice-President of the Bar Association for Commerce, Finance & Industry.

The Bar Council’s Young Barristers’ Committee sees Athena Markides become Chair for 2019. Athena, of Crown Office Chambers, was called to the Bar in 2011 and practises predominantly in insurance, construction, property damage and commercial law. She has a particular interest in work with an international dimension and is a member of the European Circuit executive and a former member of the Bar Council’s EU Law Committee (2016–2018). Before joining Chambers, Athena worked at Ofcom (2011 – 2012) and then at a fin-tech start-up (2012–2013).

Read Richard Atkins QC’s inaugural speech.