About the Chairman

Keith Azopardi QC was elected Chairman of the Bar Council on the 15th April 2015 in succession to Melo Triay.

The primary role of the Bar Council is to represent the legal profession and to work towards improving the legal landscape in Gibraltar. There are, at the current count, 33 law firms in Gibraltar – each with its own views and needs to consider. I am keen to ensure that the Council is representative of all sectors of our legal community be they litigators, commercial or property lawyers or indeed the employed Bar. As we work towards a reformed regulatory system it is important that, in the medium term, persons providing legal services in any guise within Gibraltar should be members of the Bar Council. Taking account of the needs of all spheres of our profession I am keen to build on the work done by successive Chairmen and identify priorities to further progress the Bar’s agenda. This includes taking forward projects to achieve improvements to legislation, access to resources, regulation and the interface with the courts.

Additionally via its participation in the Finance Centre Council and other consultative bodies the Bar has a wider ability to constructively influence the domestic debate and help keep Gibraltar fiscally competitive, compliant in terms of regulation as well as alive to identify new legal markets. Helping to navigate international challenges in a steady and calm way is an important aspect of our continuing role as is lobbying for domestic change to legislation if that is in the wider interests of our community.

We want to improve the working environment for lawyers as well as widening access to justice, improving the legislative framework and the competitiveness of our jurisdiction. Steps need to be taken in terms of education, regulation, product development, technology and resources. I want to make sure that the agenda over the next three years is developed together and builds on previous work.

I appreciate that in seeking to achieve its goals and to influence the wider Gibraltar agenda the Bar Council has to rely on support from other quarters. When decisions as to resources or the roll-out of measures is beyond our control this will inevitably impact on the speed of developments but we nonetheless seek to influence the pace of change in the best way possible.

Enhancing Justice, Regulation and the Quality of Legal Services