The Bar Council has appointed former education civil servant Stephen Crowne as its chief executive to fill a post that has been vacant for two years.
Crowne (pictured), 55, joins the Bar Council from IT company Cisco, where he was responsible for developing a ‘global approach to education, with a particular focus on education thought leadership’.
From June 2006 to June 2011 he was chief executive of Becta, a government agency promoting and supporting IT in education. It was shut down by the current government.
Before that, the Cambridge graduate held senior civil service posts in the Department for Education, including as principal private secretary to secretaries of state. He was also the first chief executive of the Further Education Development Agency.
He will take up the post on 3 June. The Bar Council would not reveal his salary.
The Bar Council has been without a chief executive since David Hobart left in 2011 to become chief executive of the City of London Law Society.
The body said its decision to appoint a new chief executive reflects its wish for strong leadership and general management expertise to ensure the organisation remains ‘fit for purpose, financially robust, cost-effective and focused on serving the interests and needs of the bar’.
Bar chairman Maura McGowan QC said Crowne joins the Bar Council at a time of ‘great change’ for the profession.
She said: ‘His experience in the civil service at senior levels and more recently in business will help us as an organisation to address the challenges of the diverse and complex environment in which the profession’s governing body operates and enable us meet the needs of the profession and its clients more effectively.’
Crowne said it is a ‘privilege’ to have the opportunity to help barristers respond to ‘very challenging times’. He added: ‘I want to help secure the continuing integrity, excellence and success of the bar, ensuring access to justice for all.’