2019 Competition Opening – Press Release


The 2019 QC competition opens for applications today. There is a change in the information required from applicants this year: applicants are expected to name a potential judicial and practitioner assessor from each of their 12 listed cases, instead of listing only eight judges and six practitioners.

QCs are appointed by Her Majesty The Queen on the advice of the Lord Chancellor, The Rt Hon David Gauke MP, following recommendations by the independent Queen’s Counsel Selection Panel.

Sir Alex Allan continues as Chair in 2019. 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.

Sir Christopher Clarke, Dr Douglas Board, and Celia Hughes have joined the Selection Panel as new members.

Notes for Editors
1. The members of the independent Queen’s Counsel Selection Panel for the 2019 competition are:
Sir Alex Allan (Chair)
Douglas Board
Sir Christopher Clarke
Wanda Goldwag
Celia Hughes
Rachel Langdale QC
Edward Nally
Penelope Reed QC
Dr Maggie Semple OBE
Monisha Shah

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. 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:

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 2020. It is hoped that results of the competition will be announced in December 2020.

6. Applicants 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.