Kirsty Brimelow KC has been elected as the Vice Chair of the Bar Council for 2025. The criminal and international human rights practitioner will join Barbara Mills KC and Lucinda Orr next year to make up the first all-female officer team for the Bar Council in its 130-year history.

Kirsty was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in 1991 and took silk in 2011. She practises in criminal, international and public law from Doughty Street Chambers, where she is on the management board as co-head of the Criminal Law team.

In 2021-23 Kirsty led the Criminal Bar Association – serving as Vice Chair and then Chair – during the criminal Bar action and negotiations with government that secured the increase in legal aid fees.

Kirsty was the first female chair of the Bar Human Rights Committee (2012-18). She was appointed as a Recorder in 2022 and Deputy High Court Judge in 2021 and is a Bencher of Gray’s Inn.

Kirsty led the drafting which resulted in the introduction of FGM Protection Order Legislation. Her work nationally and internationally led to the UN resolution on the Elimination of Harmful Practices Related to Accusations of Witchcraft and Ritual Attacks. Between 2019 – 2021 Kirsty advised the government of Denmark on consent based sexual offences, leading to a change in the law.

Kirsty is an accredited mediator and acts in conflict resolution, particularly in Colombia where she negotiated an historic apology from the former President to a community of cacao farmers. She is an experienced trainer, facilitator, and conference speaker in international human rights around the world, holding consultancies to the United Nations and OSCE (the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe).

Commenting on her election, Kirsty Brimelow KC said:

“I welcome the opportunity to serve the Bar and thank all those who have placed their trust in my hands.

“As we move through the election year, I am committed to taking justice off the political football field and returning it to a properly resourced, accessible and respected pillar of society.

“A fundamental justice floor is a properly funded public Bar. This will positively impact upon unacceptable delays in courts and aid the retention of barristers to publicly funded work.

“I also will work to change the Bar’s own backyard by taking solid steps to eliminate the gender and race pay gaps at the Bar and I will extend the championing of social mobility and diversity, as well as expand the Bar’s environment commitment.

“I will be a Vice Chair with a global vision and I look forward to joining with our international colleagues to strengthen the rule of law for both people and for nature.

“I have been at the heart of Bar reform for my entire career. I understand the challenges and have lived the struggles, and I am privileged to lead. I look forward to supporting the Chair and working with the dynamic Bar Council team.”

Kirsty will join the officer team from 1 January 2025 alongside current Vice Chair Barbara Mills KC, who was elected unopposed as Chair of the Bar for 2025, and Lucinda Orr (Partner at Enyo Law) who was elected unopposed as Treasurer for 2025.