The judging panel

 Sam Townend KC, Chair of the Bar 2024
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Sam Townend KC is Chair of the Bar 2024. Sam is a silk at Keating Chambers and practises in domestic and international construction, energy and professional negligence work. He is also a mediator and adjudicator, and a Bencher at Lincoln's Inn. 

Sam was the co-chair of the Bar Council Legal Services Committee in 2022 and has chaired the Bar’s Regulatory Review Working Group. He is a former member of the Young Barristers’ Committee and Treasurer of the Free Representation Unit.


Barbara Mills KC, Vice Chair of the Bar 2024
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Barbara Mills KC is Vice Chair of the Bar 2024. Barbara is a silk and joint head of chambers at 4PB and practises in family law specialising in difficult and complex children cases, often with an international element. Barbara is an arbitrator and a mediator, sits as a Deputy High Court Judge, and has been a Recorder on the South Eastern Circuit for over ten years. Barbara is also a Governing Bencher at Inner Temple.

Barbara chairs the Bar Council’s Regulatory Review Working Group and has been a member of the Equality, Diversity and Social Mobility Committee and co-chair of the Race Working Group, which published the landmark Race at the Bar report in 2020.


Patrick Walker, Barrister and Mediator
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Patrick was called to the Bar in 1979. He spent 20 years in Chambers in Leeds and 17 years as Director for Advocacy at Squire Patton Boggs solicitors.

He was appointed as a Recorder and Deputy High Court Judge. He was a founder member and former Chair of the Employed Barristers’ Committee.

He has been a mediator for over 25 years or the last 7 years he has worked full time as a mediator ( 


Gaynor Wood, Chair, Bar Association for Commerce, Finance, and Industry (BACFI)
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Gaynor Wood is General Counsel at CLS, a financial market infrastructure, and is based in London.

As General Counsel, Gaynor is responsible for overseeing and leading the Legal Division globally, including management of data protection and regulatory relations. Gaynor was Called to the Bar in 1994. Following completion of Pupillage in a commercial regulatory practice, Gaynor started her financial markets career at a major US investment bank. Since then, Gaynor has held positions within the legal departments of a number of major investment banks in London.

Prior to joining CLS, Gaynor was a Director and Associate General Counsel at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in London, with primary responsibility for legal support of the rates and FX business lines. As well as being a regular speaker at conferences, Gaynor is a bencher of Gray's Inn, Chair of the Bar Association for Commerce, Finance & Industry (BACFI) and a member of the Bank of England JSC Legal Sub-Committee.


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