Most recently a senior director at technology giant Cisco, Cambridge-graduate Crowne was responsible for its global education programme. Prior to that he was Chief Executive of the British Educational Technology & Communications Agency (BECTA), the Government agency charged with promoting technology in learning, which was in the first tranche of quangos to be axed. At BECTA, he was responsible for advising the Government on strategy, driving improvement, and “value-for-money procurement” arrangements.

Previously, Crowne was a senior civil servant in the Department for Education, where he worked his way up the Ministry ladder and was principal private secretary to three Education Secretaries, culminating with a period as interim Director-General for Schools. In various roles he led on central Government intervention in failing local authorities, worked on overall schools funding strategy and programmes to raise standards. He was also the first Chief Executive of the Further Education Development Agency.

It would, Crowne said, be a “privilege” to help barristers, a “vital part of our justice system”, to “respond to very challenging times”. “I want to help secure the continuing integrity, excellence and success of the Bar, ensuring access to justice for all,” he added. The role has been vacant since the departure in May 2011 of David Hobart who became Chief Executive of the City of London Law Society.

Crowne will facilitate the operation of the Bar Council’s policy-making committees and support the Council in developing strategy and fulfilling its role as approved regulator. The Bar Council declined to disclose Crowne’s salary.