The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has named Sarah Crowther KC as Chair of UK racing’s Independent Judicial Panel.

Crowther succeeds Brian Baker CBE, the inaugural Chair of the Judicial Panel, who will end his six-year tenure in January. The Independent panel serves as the disciplinary and appeals board for UK racing.

“I am delighted that we have been able to appoint somebody of the calibre of Sarah Crowther KC to this most important position,” said Joe Saumarez Smith, Chair of the BHA. “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.”

The panel can hold enquiries related to concerns and issues impacting UK racing. Where appropriate, the panel can make recommendations and impose penalties for breaches of the Rules of Racing.

Crowther is recognised as one of Britain’s top lawyers in the field of safeguarding professional sports.

High-profile legal disputes have seen Crowther represent the FA in 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 BHA underlined Crowther’s board legal experience in civil and commercial practices, in which she had led appeals in the areas of personal injury, clinical negligence, public law and discrimination cases.

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