Director's Cut

Director's Cut

Executive Team

Our recent 'Spotlight' feature explored how the Policy team contribute to the Bar Council's work, but this is only one part of how we represent you. In upcoming BarTalks, Directors of the different functions that make up the Bar Council will be sharing behind-the-scenes insights about how their teams help deliver the Bar Council's extensive mission. 

Natalie Zara, Head of Governance

Before coming to work for the Bar Council, I was a qualified museums' professional and archivist working in many museums and archives across London including the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture and Senate House.  Tired of the slow-moving environment I became a School Registrar at Holland Park School for four years overseeing the examinations, attendance, student services and admissions departments.  Life was far from slow paced at the school and I soon learnt how to juggle a range of conflicting demands on my time, not to mention demanding parents and students! 

Finally, in 2012, frankly exhausted, I applied for the Operational Support Team Manager role in the Professional Conduct Department of the BSB.  The role enabled me to use my administrative and archival skills in a challenging yet truly fascinating environment and in 2016, ready for a new challenge I moved to the Bar Council to become Head of Governance.

My team is small.  I manage the Executive Assistant who provides PA support to the Chair and Officers the Executive Support Assistant who serves the Chief Executive.  However, our roles are far wider than that.  For my part I oversee and monitor the business planning processes for the Representation, Policy and Services part of the Bar Council, I set the Executive Office budget, maintain the Bar Council risk register, ensure that the Regulatory Independence Protocol between the BSB and Bar Council is adhered to and its processes followed, facilitate changes to the Constitution or Standing Orders when the need arises, organise the internal Operational Management Board and take responsibility for the administration of the 'joint' BSB and Bar Council committees including running recruitment campaigns when members leave.

Much of my role revolves around the administration of the Bar Council from acting as Secretary and writing the minutes to advertising vacancies, finding accommodation for meetings and dealing with attendance concerns.  I am responsible for ensuring that the Bar Council elections (both office and subscriber) run smoothly each year and I oversee the recruitment processes for Bar Council committees ensuring that the committees are fairly balanced and that new members of the Bar Council get the opportunity to join one.  I enjoy this very much as I am always thoroughly impressed by the amount of time that barristers are prepared to commit to the Bar Council and its committees.  The Summer Reception, which my team organises, is a highlight for me as it is an opportunity for the Bar Council to thank those barristers, and staff members, in a less formal setting. 

Much of this important work would not be possible without funding from the Bar Representation Fee (BRF).