Maintaining excellence to top Annual Bar Conference Agenda

28 October 2014

The Annual Bar Conference, set to be held this year on Saturday 8 November at the Westminster Park Plaza, will be one of the most highly anticipated in the conference's 28 year history. The legal profession in England and Wales continues to face tough challenges as cuts in legal-aid begin to take effect and threaten the public's access to world-class specialist advisory and advocacy services.

This year's conference will champion the Bar's excellence and feature a keynote address from Justice of The Supreme Court, The Rt. Hon. Lord Hughes of Ombersley.

Following October's Young Bar Conference, 'Justice in Jeopardy,' the Bar Conference will provide delegates with unrivalled opportunities to learn, network and discuss the key issues affecting today's Bar - beginning with a session moderated by Chairman-elect, Alistair MacDonald QC, which will examine the Bar's pro bono efforts and its role in providing fair access to justice where legal aid may be unavailable.

The Annual Bar Conference is the only event that brings together all members of the Bar community and the broader legal sector, and will be attended by solicitors, clerks, Judges, Magistrates, and students as well as members of the Bar who are in self-employed and employed practice.

Chairman of the Bar Council, Nicholas Lavender QC said:

"Over the past 28 years, the Annual Bar Conference has been the flagship event which brings together all members of the Bar community for a full day of debate and discussion.

"Where previous conferences have considered whether and how the Bar needs to change in order to respond to the rapidly evolving legal landscape, this year we shall focus on all that is positive about today's Bar and how practitioners can take advantage of changes in the legal services market.

"Despite the challenges the legal sector as whole is facing, it's important to remind ourselves that the Bar is a profession that strives for, and demonstrates, excellence. That theme underpins the conference programme."  

Sessions include, LASPO one year on - the impact of changes to civil and family litigation on the Bar, Human rights and reconciliation; mediation on the world stage, and Combating female genital mutilation (FGM).

The conference will also serve as an award ceremony of sorts, as the winner of the annual Legal Reporting Awards, and Bar Pro Bono Award will be announced.



Notes to Editors 

1. Further information is available from the Bar Council Press Office on 020 7222 2525 and

2. Information on the Annual Bar Conference can be found here.

3. The  Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales. It promotes: 

  • The Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory services

  • Fair access to justice for all

  • The highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across the profession, and

  • The development of business opportunities for barristers at home and abroad. 

The General Council of the Bar is the Approved Regulator of the Bar of England and Wales. It discharges its regulatory functions through the independent Bar Standards Board