Chair of the Bar Sam Townend KC has welcomed the appointment of the new Attorney General, Richard Hermer KC.

The Attorney General will attend Cabinet and has responsibility for matters of importance in the legal sphere. The Bar Council hopes that he will ensure the government keeps to its domestic and international legal obligations, brings an end to political attacks on lawyers for just doing their jobs, and provides sufficient resources and develops a strategy for the Criminal Bar to help to ensure the Crown Court backlog comes down.

Commenting, Sam Townend KC, Chair of the Bar Council, said:

“The appointment by the Prime Minister of Richard Hermer KC as Attorney General, with a stellar career as public lawyer at the self-employed Bar behind him, sends a strong message of the Government’s intention to observe domestic law obligations and commitment to the international rules-based order. 

“From my experience, lawyers in Europe and beyond had been bemused and saddened by recent and repeated undermining of our long and proud legal tradition, including as principal drafters of the European Convention of Human Rights, by legislative measures such as the Safety of Rwanda Act and negative rhetoric about whether the country had to keep to its treaty and domestic legal obligations. 

“The UK’s tremendous legal services market, including £5.7 billion of legal exports, depends upon its reputation as stalwart adherents to the rule of law. The Bar Council hopes that Lord Hermer KC’s appointment is the start of the process of restoration of our legal reputation abroad.”