2018 Competition Announcement

PRESS RELEASE (for immediate release)

The appointments of 108 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, David Gauke MP, following consideration by the independent Queen’s Counsel Selection Panel.

Sir Alex Allan, Chair 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. Some applicants are filtered out following consideration of the assessments. The remaining applicants are
interviewed by two members of the Selection Panel, following which the whole Panel discuss all the evidence on each interviewed applicant.

We remain concerned that the number of female applicants remains comparatively low, but I am pleased that of those women who did apply, well over 50% were successful. I was also pleased to note that the number of BAME applicants appointed was in proportion to their representation amongst ap Notes for 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 2018 competition were:
Sir Alex Allan (Chair)
Wanda Goldwag
Tony King
Rachel Langdale QC
Edward Nally
Penelope Reed QC
Maggie Semple OBE
Monisha Shah
Dame Janet Smith
Ranjit Sondhi CBE
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.qcappointments.org

4. Applications for the 2018 competition closed on 28 March 2018 and the Selection Panel submitted recommendations to the Lord Chancellor on 25 October 2018. Each applicant has been considered against five competencies:
• Understanding and using the law
• Written and oral advocacy
• Working with others
• Diversity
• Integrity
5. 173 of the 240 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 February 2018.
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 11 March 2019.
7. Copies of the Selection Panel’s report will be available on the QCA website shortly. Further information can also be obtained from Russell Wallman, Chief Executive of QCA, on 0207 831 0020.