2014 Press Release QCA- 100 new QC’s appointed


100 new appointments as 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 vital 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.

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.

Finally, I should like to thank Sir Anthony May, Sir Colin Budd and Razi Shah, who are standing down from the Selection Panel at the end of this competition, for their contribution to our work.’

The Selection Panel is publishing a full report on the 2013-14 competition, with statistical information relating to successful and unsuccessful applicants. It will be available on the QC Appointments website sho were appointed,
• 11 applicants aged over 50 of the 43 who applied, compared with five over 50 year olds appointed last year. The youngest successful applicant on this occasion is 36 years old and the oldest is 68.
• Five solicitor advocates of the seven who applied. In 2012-13 one solicitor advocate was appointed.
• Two employed advocates of the six who applied. In 2012-13, no employed applicants were appointed.
• Five of the eight applicants who declared a disability. In 2012-13, Last year, no applicant who declared a disability was appointed.

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 independent Queen’s Counsel Selection Panel for the 2013-14 competition were:
Helen Pitcher (Chairman)
Sir Alex Allan
Sir Colin Budd KCMG
Sir Alistair Graham
Linda Lee
Martin Mann QC
Sir Anthony May
Frances Oldham QC
Quinton Quayle
Razi Shah
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 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 2013-14 competition closed on 17 April 2013 and the Selection Panel submitted recommendations to the Lord Chancellor on 6 December 2013.

Each applicant has been considered against five competencies:
• Understanding and using the law
• Written and oral advocacy
• Working with others
• Diversity
• Integrity

5. 162 of the 225 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 March 2014.

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 14 April 2014.

7. Copies of the Selection Panel’s report will be available on the QCA website from 19 February 2014. Further information can also be obtained from Russell Wallman, Head of QC Appointments Secretariat, on 0207 831 0020.