Announcement of 2008 Competition


The Selection Panel for appointing Queen’s Counsel has announced today that it is inviting applications from barristers and solicitors with Higher Courts advocacy rights for appointment as Queen’s Counsel from Thursday 21st February 2008.

From Thursday 21st February 2008, the application form and guidance for applicants will be available on the Selection Panel’s website . The deadline for receipt of applications is 5 pm on Thursday 3rd April 2008. On current expectations the outcome of the applications is likely to be announced in early 2009.

The Selection Panel will be looking for the same skills and attributes as in the last competition. However, the Selection Panel will look both at the preparatory and the resolution (in court or otherwise) aspects of advocacy. The competencies are:
A. Understanding and use of the law
B. Oral and written advocacy
C. Working with others
D. Diversity
E. Integrity

Referees have been renamed assessors to better reflect the role they play in the process. References are therefore to be known as assessments. To be appointed an applicant must demonstrate the competencies to a standard of
excellence. Applicants are required to provide a summary of their practice and a self assessment as to how they meet the competencies and the names of assessors who have recently encountered them at work – judges or arbitrators, fellow practitioners and professional clients or client proxies. The Selection Panel will consider the evidence
from the summary of practice, self assessment and assessments and decide on the strength of the available evidence which applicants justify an interview. The Selection Panel of nine members is chaired by Sir Duncan Nichol CBE and is independent of the legal professions and Government. The Selection Panel includes a substantial lay (i.e. non-lawyer) membership.

The Bar Council and the Law Society are pleased to announce the appointment of the Right Honourable Sir Paul Kennedy as the retired judicial member of the Selection Panel, in place of Baroness (Elizabeth) Butler-Sloss GBE, who is standing down. The Selection Panel’s recommendations will be passed to the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor, who will put the recommendations to The Queen. The Lord Chancellor has no power to veto names or to add names of his own. The Scheme is funded entirely by fees from applicants.

Notes to Editors
1. Further information from David Watts, Head of QC Appointments Secretariat
020 7831 0020.
2. Members of the QC Selection Panel are:
Sir Duncan Nichol CBE (Chairman)
Roy Amlot QC
Ruth Evans
Professor Dame Joan Higgins
Sir Paul Kennedy
Jean Ritchie QC
Lucy Scott-Moncrieff
Karamjit Singh, CBE
Christopher Woolley.
3. Sir Paul Kennedy was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in 1960 and took Silk in 1973. He served as a Justice of the High Court, assigned to the Queen’s Bench Division, from 1983 to 1992. He was Presiding Judge of the North Eastern Circuit from 1985 to 1989. He served as Lord Justice of Appeal from 1992 to 2005 and also as Vice-President of the Queen’s Bench Division from 1997 to 2001. He was appointed Interception of Communications Commissioner in 2006. He chaired a working group to review Bar Council representation from April 2006 to May 2007

4. The document setting out the principles and mechanics of the process was agreed in 2004 and modified in 2006 by the Bar Council, Law Society and the (then) Department for Constitutional Affairs).

5. The Scheme is entirely self-financing. To cover the costs of the process applicants have to pay an application fee of £2500 (+VAT). There will be a further appointment fee of £3500 (+ VAT) paid by successful applicants only.