2018 Competition Opening – Press Release

PRESS RELEASE (for publication 12 noon Wednesday 14 February)

The 2018 QC competition opens for applications today. The competition will be open for applications until 28 March 2018. QCs are appointed by Her Majesty The Queen on the advice of the Lord Chancellor, The Rt Hon David Gauke MP, following consideration by the independent Queen’s Counsel Selection Panel.

Sir Alex Allan continues as Chair in 2018. Sir Alex was formerly a senior Civil Servant in a number of Government Departments, as well as being High Commissioner to Australia. Sir Alex has been a member of the Selection Panel since 2013.

Rachel Langdale QC and Penelope Reed QC have joined the Selection Panel as new legal members. Rachel Langdale specialises in Children Act cases, covering both public and private law. Penelope Reed has a broad chancery practice focussed on trusts, wills and inheritance disputes.

Monisha Shah has joined the Selection Panel as a new lay member. Ms Shah has extensive senior level management and Board experience in the Creative Industries working with both public and private sector organisations, and is a member of the Committee on Standards in Public Life.

Notes for Editors
1. The members of the independent Queen’s Counsel Selection Panel for the 2018
competition are:
Sir Alex Allan (Chair)
Wanda Goldwag
Tony King
Rachel Langdale QC
Edward Nally
Penelope Reed QC
Dr Maggie Semple OBE
Monisha Shah
Ranjit Sondhi CBE
The Selection Panel will also include a senior former judge, but there is at present a vacancy for that position.

The Selection Panel is supported by its own Secretariat, headed by Chief Executive Russell Wallman.

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. Each applicant will be considered against five competencies:
• Understanding and using the law
• Written and oral advocacy
• Working with others
• Diversity
• Integrity
5. In past years, around 40-45% of applicants have been successful, although there is no quota. All unsuccessful applicants receive written personal feedback on their application. The Panel expects to make its recommendations to the Lord Chancellor in late October 2018. It is hoped that results of the competition will be announced in
December 2018.
6. Applicants normally pay a fee of £1,800 plus VAT on application, and a further £3,000 plus VAT if appointed.
7. Copies of the Selection Panel’s report on the previous competition are available on the QCA website. Further information can also be obtained from Russell Wallman, Chief Executive of QCA, on 0207 831 0020.