McGowan, a criminal law practitioner at 2 Bedford Row in London and Lincoln House Chambers in Manchester, will take up her new post on 1 January 2012. Her law practice covers all areas of crime, most notably cases involving murder, drugs, assault and child abuse. She was appointed a Deputy High Court Judge in 2010, and has been a Recorder since 1996. She is also Called to the Irish Bar.

She serves on the Bar Council’s Law Reform Committee and as a vice-chair of its Professional Practice Committee. She is the Director of Education and Training for the South Eastern Circuit and a serving committee member of the Criminal Bar Association. In 2012, Michael Todd QC, a company law practitioner and head of Erskine Chambers, will take over the reins as chair of the Bar Council, and Stephen Collier, who is General Counsel of General Healthcare Group, will become Treasurer.