84 NEW QUEEN’S COUNSEL APPOINTED IN 2012-13 COMPETITION
84 new appointments as Queen’s Counsel (also known as Silk) were 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 Selection Panel (the Panel). All those appointed have demonstrated excellence in advocacy in the higher
Helen Pitcher, Chairman of the QC Panel, said today:
’I am very pleased at the announcement of the 84 new Silks. I congratulate each one of them. The selection process is an exacting one. We collect confidential assessments from judges, fellow advocates and professional clients, all of whom will have seen the applicant at work. Applicants are also interviewed by two members of the Panel. The whole Panel then discusses the evidence on each applicant.
We have been impressed by the extremely high quality of the applicants. The Panel has had the difficult task of identifying the truly excellent advocates. And I am confident that those appointed today truly deserve to be the Queen’s Counsel. Although unsuccessful applicants will naturally be disappointed, I must stress that this does
not mean that they are not highly valued and effective practitioners. The standard for appointment is extreme Finally, I should like to thank Lord (Alex) Carlile of Berriew CBE QC and Felicity Huston, who are both standing down from the Selection Panel at the end of this competition, for their contribution to our work.’
The Panel is publishing a short report on the 2012-13 competition, with statistical information relating to successful and unsuccessful applicants. It will be available on the QC Appointments website.
A list of the successful new Silks is attached. Among the 84 new appointments this year (46% of all applicants) are:
• 14 women applicants (54% of the 26 who applied). In the competition in 2011-12, 23 women (58% of the 40 who applied). Once again, female applicants have been proportionately more successful than men, although men still account for most of the applicants and most of the appointments.
• 3 applicants who declared an ethnic origin other than white (14% of the 21 who applied – 2% of all applicants), a lower proportion than in 2011-12 when 6 applicants (40%) were appointed,
• 5 applicants aged over 50 at the time of their application (16% of this age group), compared with 3 successful applicants (8% of that age group) appointed last year. The youngest successful applicant on this occasion is 36 years old and the oldest 61.
• One solicitor advocate, of the 2 who applied. In 2011-12 two solicitor advocates applied, but neither was appointed. Since 2008, 8 solicitor advocates have been appointed. Four employed advocates applied this year, but none was appointed on this occasion. In 2011-12, one of the 3 employed applicants was appointed.
This year one applicant declared a disability, but was not appointed. Last year, 7 applicants declared a disability and 4 were appointed.
Notes to Editors
1. Queen’s Counsel are appointed by The Queen, on the advice of the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice. 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 2012-13 competition were:
Helen Pitcher (Chairman)
Sir Colin Budd KCMG
Lord (Alex) Carlile of Berriew CBE QC
Sir Alistair Graham
Sir Anthony May
Frances Oldham QC
The Panel is supported by its own Secretariat.
3. The 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 were agreed in 2006 building on experience of the first year. 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 closed on 18 April 2012 and the Selection Panel delivered recommendations to the Lord Chancellor on 14 December 2012. Each applicant has been considered against five competencies:
• Understanding and using the law
• Written and oral advocacy
• Working with others
5. 130 of the 183 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 2013.
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 27 March 2013.
7. Copies of the Selection Panel’s report will be available on the QCA website from 27 February 2013. Further information can also be obtained from David Watts, Head of QC Appointments Secretariat, on 0207 831 0020.