2014-15 Competition Announcement


The appointments of 93 new Queen’s Counsel (also known as silk) are announced today. These appointments are made by Her Majesty The Queen on the advice of the Lord Chancellor, Chris Grayling MP, following consideration by the independent Queen’s Counsel Selection Panel.

Helen Pitcher, Chairman of the Selection Panel, said today:
’I am delighted at the announcement of the new silks. I congratulate each one of them. The selection process is a rigorous and demanding one. We collect confidential assessments from judges, fellow advocates and professional clients, who give freely of their time to provide evidence about an applicant’s demonstration of the competencies. The best applicants are then interviewed by two members of the Panel, following which the whole Panel discuss all the evidence on each applicant. We remain concerned that the number of female applicants remains stubbornly low, but I am pleased that of those women who did apply, 58% were successful. BAME applicants had exactly the same success rate (42%) as other applicants.

Each year, the Panel has the difficult task of identifying the truly excellent advocates. I am confident that those appointed today truly deserve to be Queen’s Counsel. Unsuccessful applicants will of course be very disappointed. But I must stress that almost all of those who are unsuccessful are nevertheless highly respected and effective advocates’.

The Selection Panel is publishing a full report on the 2014-15 competition, with statistical information relating to successful and unsuccessful applicants. It will be available on the QC Appointments website shortly.
A list of the new silks is attached. Among the 93 appointments are:
• 25 women applicants of the 42 who applied. Last year, 18 out of 42 women applicants were successful;
• 10 applic

Notes to Editors
1. Queen’s Counsel are appointed by The Queen, on the advice of the Lord Chancellor. He is in turn advised by an independent Selection Panel which receives and considers each application and makes recommendations as to appointment.
2. The members of the Queen’s Counsel Selection Panel for the 2014-15 competition were:
Helen Pitcher (Chairman)
Sir Alex Allan
Sir Alistair Graham
Sir Maurice Kay
Tony King
Linda Lee
Martin Mann QC
Quinton Quayle
Shaun Smith QC
Ranjit Sondhi
The Selection Panel is supported by its own Secretariat.

3. The QC appointment scheme was developed by the Bar Council and the Law Society, with the support of the (then) Department for Constitutional Affairs, and approved by the then Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State (Lord Falconer) in November 2004. Applications were first invited in 2005 and the first round of appointments under the new arrangements was announced in 2006. Refinements to the scheme, building on experience of the first year, were agreed in 2006. The selection process is financed entirely through applicants’ fees. A copy of the agreed Process and further information is available from the Queen’s Counsel Appointments website: www.qcapplications.org.uk
4. Applications for the 2014-15 competition closed on 15 April 2014 and the Selection Panel submitted recommendations to the Lord Chancellor on 28 November 2014.

Each applicant has been considered against five competencies:
• Understanding and using the law
• Written and oral advocacy
• Working with others
• Diversity
• Integrity
5. 148 of the 224 applicants were interviewed by the Selection Panel. All unsuccessful applicants receive written personal feedback on their application. The Panel expects to invite applications for the next round of appointments in late February 2015.
6. The new Queen’s Counsel announced today will formally become silks when they make their declaration before the Lord Chancellor at the ceremony on 16 February 2015.
7. Copies of the Selection Panel’s report will be available on the QCA website from 14 February 2015 or can be obtained from the QCA Secretariat. Further information can also be obtained from Russell Wallman, Head of QC Appointments Secretariat, on 0207 831 0020.