Diplomat to lead Bar Standards Board

Former diplomat Sir Andrew Burns KCMG has been announced as the next Chair of the Bar Standards Board.

He succeeds Baroness Ruth Deech QC (Hon) on 1 January 2015, whose maximum two terms of office finish at the end of this year.


Sir Andrew has been the UK Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues since 2010 and is the 2014-15 Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. His long career in the Diplomatic Service began in 1965, after graduating from Trinity College, Cambridge. He served as British High Commissioner to Canada from 2000 to 2003, British Consul-General in Hong Kong and Macau from 1997 to 2000 and was British Ambassador to Israel from 1992 to 1995. He has also been Press Secretary to three successive British Foreign Secretaries: Geoffrey Howe, John Major and Douglas Hurd. “I am very excited at the prospect of leading the BSB through the next stage of its journey to becoming a more modern and efficient regulator,” Sir Andrew said.

“I am committed to working with the Bar to help it modernise and flourish in the face of change, while maintaining quality standards and safeguarding the client.”  Baroness Deech said: “These past six years as Chair of the BSB have been exciting, challenging, and rewarding. There has never been a dull moment throughout my tenure, and I shall look back on this period with great pride.” She said she looked forward to working with Sir Andrew – “whose career I hold in the highest regard” – to ensure a smooth transition over the next few months.

Sir Andrew was selected by an independent appointments panel chaired by Dr Kenneth Fleming and will be the third lay chair to head the regulator, now a Legal Services Board requirement. His experience extends to the education, finance, and cultural sectors. Sir Andrew was the final International Governor of the BBC; Chairman of Royal Holloway, University of London (2004-2011); and Chair of the Committee of University Chairs (2008-2011). He continues to chair Hestercombe Gardens Trust and the International Polar Foundation-UK and is a Governor of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

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