Sir Bob Neill MP among five new honorary KCs

Justice committee chair and British Red Cross legal adviser among those honoured
Official portrait of Sir Bob Neill MP

Sir Bob Neill Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

Sir Bob Neill MP, the widely respected House of Commons Justice Select Committee chair, is among five legal figures to be named Honorary King’s Counsel.

Honorary KCs are awarded alongside the annual KC appointments to figures who have contributed significantly to the law outside practice in the courts.

The Lord Chancellor, Alex Chalk, will preside over the appointment ceremony at Westminster Hall in March, where he will formally bestow the title of KC upon the 95 successful applicants in this year’s silk round and award the honorary KCs.

Neill is a former criminal barrister and practised out of the chambers 2 Bedford Row before being elected as the Conservative MP for Bromley and Chislehurst in 2006. He remains a member of the set.

His committee examines the policies and spending of the Ministry of Justice and associated bodies, including courts, legal aid, prisons, probation and the rule of law. 

He was nominated for his work leading the committee, which has produced over 35 detailed reports following substantive inquiries across a wide range of legal and justice policy areas.

He commented on social media that he was “delighted and honoured” at the appointment, which recognised the committee’s work. 

He added: “Grateful for the support I get from fellow members of staff and my friends and colleagues in the law, especially all at 2 Bedford Row.”

Other appointees include EU law specialist Professor Anthony Arnull of Birmingham University, for his work on the relationship between European Union law and national law, especially that of the UK.

Cardiff University’s Professor Norman Doe was honoured for his work on ecclesiastical law and its influence on the work of the Church of England and revisions to clergy discipline procedures. 

Northern Ireland human rights lawyer Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, of Queen’s University Belfast, was recognised for her work at the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and internationally with the United Nations.

The sole in-house lawyer, Michael Meyer, was recognised for his work as head of the British Red Cross’s international law department, particularly international humanitarian law and the law of war, where his views are influential and highly respected by the UK government.

Meanwhile, just one solicitor has been selected to be a KC this year out of 95 successful applicants in total, exactly the same ratio and tally as in 2023.

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