Announcement of Opening of 2010-11 Competition

EMBARGOED UNTIL: 12.01am Thursday 11th March 2010

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 11th March 2010.

From Thursday 11th March 2010, 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 22nd April 2010. On current expectations the outcome of the applications is likely to be announced in the early part of 2011.

All applicants are assessed against the common competency framework and a common standard of excellence. There are no quotas, and the Panel treat all applications in the same way. The Selection Panel will be looking for applicants who demonstrate competencies to a standard of excellence. The competencies are:
A – (Understanding and Using the Law)
B – (Oral and Written Advocacy -including the preparation and court or resolution aspects of advocacy)
C – (Working with Others)
D – (Diversity)
E – (Integrity)

The award is for excellence in advocacy in the higher courts and equivalent tribunals, and arbitrations. Advocacy includes both written and oral advocacy. There is no minimum amount of in court or written advocacy required for an applicant to be successful, provided there is enough evidence for the Selection Panel to reach a conclusion as to excellence.

To be appointed an applicant must demonstrate the competencies to a standard of excellence. Applicants are required to provide a summary description of their practice, 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 description of practice, self assessment and assessments and decide on the strength of the available evidence which applicants justify an interview.

Queen’s Counsel Appointments
3rd Floor, Totara Park House, 34-36 Gray’s Inn Road, London, WC1X 8HR
Tel: 020 7831 0020, Fax: 020 7405 4953,
DX 387 London Chancery Ln
Queen’s Counsel Appointments is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales Company Registration No. 05423088. VAT Registration No. 863 4611 21

The registered office is as above The Selection Panel has nine members with a substantial lay (i.e. non-lawyer)
membership. It is also chaired by a non-lawyer. The Selection Panel is independent of the legal professions and Government. There is one new Panel member this year; Sir David Keene.

The Selection Panel’s recommendations will be passed to the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor, who will put 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. Professor Dame Joan Higgins DBE (Chair), Sir Colin Budd, Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, Lord Alex Carlile of Berriew QC, Helen Pitcher, Jean Ritchie QC, Razi Shah and Karamjit Singh CBE, will continue to be members of the Selection Panel during the 2010-11 competition. Sir David Keene is a new Panel member.
3. 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. A copy of this and other information is available on the QCA website
4. The scheme is entirely self-financing. To cover the costs of the process applicants have to pay an application fee of £2,200 (+VAT). This is a 6% reduction from last year’s fee of £2,350 (+ VAT). There will be a further appointment fee of £3500 (+ VAT) paid by successful applicants only.