Former top barrister Sir John Swaine, 72, is back in silk as a senior counsel after stepping down to make a late-life career change to solicitor. Speaking after a ceremony to re-admit him to the Bar in the High Court yesterday, Sir John said he changed his mind because he did not enjoy working as a solicitor. 'My heart is still with the Bar and I decided to come out from retirement and become active again. I found the independence of the Bar is far more appealing,' he said. Sir John's son, barrister John Joseph Edward Swaine, 43, told the audience Chief Justice Andrew Li Kwok-nang had approved his father's return to being a senior counsel. Mr Justice Michael Hartmann welcomed Sir John and restored his name in the roll of barristers. In December 2002, Sir John made the unusual move of switching to work as a solicitor with the intention of setting up a law firm, John Swaine & Co. Sir John joined Rowland Chow, Chan & Co as a senior partner and consultant between March and October last year. He then retired to his stud farm in Essex for about five months. He said the 'enjoyable but boring' farm life prompted him to resume practice as a barrister. His decision also had a family reason - he wanted his son and his eldest grandson, John Louis Swaine, who is studying his third year of law at London Metropolitan University, to join his Admiralty chambers. He said his 20-year-old grandson would like to carry on the family tradition by qualifying as a barrister in Hong Kong. Born in Shanghai, Sir John came to Hong Kong at the age of five. He is a former Legislative Council president and former chairman of stewards of the Hong Kong Jockey Club. He was called to the Bar in 1960 and admitted as a queen's counsel in 1975. Sir John said he would continue his hobby of raising horses. He has one horse in training in Hong Kong, 20 in Australia and 10 in England.