MacDonald, described by legal directories as “a top-flight barrister” and a “brilliant advocate”, practises from Leeds and is co-Head of Chambers at New Park Court Chambers. He was Called to the Bar in 1983 and took Silk in 2000. His practice is principally in crime, but previously his work included personal injury and administrative law. He is the Leader of the North-Eastern Circuit and has sat as a Recorder in crime and civil since 1995. MacDonald takes up the post on 1 January 2014 alongside current Vice-Chairman Nicholas Lavender QC, who will become Chairman of the Bar, and Stephen Collier, Treasurer of the Bar Council, who will continue in his role next year.