BHA confirms appointment of Sarah Crowther KC as independent Judicial Panel Chair

27 Oct 2022 BHA Features Disciplinary

The BHA has today confirmed the appointment of Sarah Crowther KC as Chair of the BHA’s independent Judicial Panel, succeeding His Honour Brian Barker CBE KC.

Sarah Crowther’s appointment has been confirmed by the BHA Board and she will take up her position at the conclusion of HH Brian Barker’s final term in January.

Ms Crowther brings to the position considerable experience, having regularly acted for both claimants and defendants across a range of legal practices, including a particular interest in safeguarding in sport. She has appeared in proceedings relating to horseracing, as well as in FA safeguarding cases, acting on behalf of individuals and sporting bodies in cases of non-recent abuse and recent harassment claims, including before the National Safeguarding Panel and the High Court.

The appointment of Ms Crowther will bring to an end the tenure of HH Brian Barker, which began in January 2017.  Mr Barker was the first independent Chair of the Judicial Panel set up following the recommendation of Christopher Quinlan QC in his review of the BHA’s then Disciplinary Panel, Appeal Board and Licensing Committee, published in 2016.

Joe Saumarez Smith, Chair of the BHA, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to appoint somebody of the calibre of Sarah Crowther KC to this most important position. Her breadth of knowledge and experience is deeply impressive and I wish her every success in her tenure.

“I would also like to place on record the thanks of the BHA Board to His Honour Brian Barker for his six years of service as independent Chair of the Judicial Panel. He was appointed at a time of considerable change for the sport and has overseen the Panel’s development into one of the leading bodies of its kind anywhere in sport. We are grateful for his diligence and hard work and wish him all the best for the future.”

Notes to editors:

1. Details of the operation and make-up of the Judicial Panel can be found here.