Member for Middle East

The International Committee (IC) of the Bar Council is seeking a practising barrister to lead the Committee’s work in relation to the jurisdictions of the Middle East. There is no minimum post-qualification experience, but it would be helpful for candidates to have substantial experience in dealing with legal systems in the Middle East, gained through private law practice or other relevant activities, which would put him or her in a position to command respect among high-level contacts of the Bar Council in the region. The terms of reference of the IC are two-fold: international business development for the Bar, and support for the rule of law (in particular support for legal professions in developing countries). The candidate will have the opportunity to develop new initiatives in accordance with the Committee’s Strategic Plan. The IC sees its role in the Middle East in particular in promoting international direct access to the Bar to local law firms and inhouse counsel. In addition we are offering assistance to the legal professions and their professional bodies (insofar they exist). The work in the Middle East will largely be developed through the International Business Development Working Group (IBDWG), which is a sub-committee of the IC which also includes representatives from the Specialist Bar Associations. This subcommittee oversees the work of three Interest Groups which bring together members of the Bar interested in particular regions. The successful candidate would chair the Middle East Interest Group and play an active part in the IBDWG.

The IC meets six times per year and the IBDWG meets as required (around 4-6 times a year). The Interest Groups meet 2 or 3 times per year. The successful candidate would therefore be expected to attend around 10 meetings per year, in addition to taking part in any overseas of domestic events (1-2 per year). Any expenses in relation to business development activities are born by IC members themselves. The ability to work in teams, cultural awareness, diplomacy and all-round communication skills are essential.

The appointment is initially for one year, but can be renewed at the discretion of the IC Chairman. A willingness to develop the work over a minimum period of 2-3 years is expected, as is the willingness to support the other areas of work of the Committee. If you would like any further information please contact: Christian Wisskirchen, International Relations Manager [email:, Tel: 020 7611 1315]. Applications are to be made by way of covering letter and CV to be sent to Christian Wisskirchen by email or by hard copy to the Bar Council, 289 High Holborn, London WC1V 7HZ, by 17.00, 21 September 2009. Please do consider applying to help with this important work. The Bar Council is committed to equal opportunity. Applications from all sections of the Bar of England & Wales are welcome, but this position would probably be best suited for a practitioner with a commercial background in the wider sense.