Announcement of Opening of 2011-12 Competition

FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION Wednesday 9th March 2011

The Selection Panel which makes recommendations for the appointment as Queen’s Counsel has announced today that it is inviting applications for appointment as Queen’s Counsel from barristers and solicitors with Higher Courts rights of audience from Wednesday 9th March 2011.

From Wednesday 9th March 2011, the application form and guidance for applicants will be available on the Selection Panel’s website .

The deadline for receipt of applications is 5pm on Wednesday 20th April 2011. On current expectations the outcome of the applications is likely to be announced in the early part of 2012.

All applicants are assessed against the common competency framework and a common standard of excellence. There are no quotas, and the Panel treats 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
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 oral and written advocacy. There is no minimum amount of 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.

The Selection Panel has ten members for the current competition, 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. The Selection Panel’s recommendations will be passed to the 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, Lord (Alex) Carlile of Berriew QC, Sir David Keene, Helen Pitcher, Jean Ritchie QC and Razi Shah will continue to be members of the Selection Panel during the 2010-11 competition. Sir Alistair Graham, Felicity Huston, and Linda Lee are new Panel members.
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 at
4. The scheme is entirely self-financing. To cover the costs of the process applicants have to pay an application fee of £1,950 (+ VAT). This is an 11% reduction from last year’s fee of £2,200 (+ VAT). There will be a further appointment fee of £3500 (+ VAT) paid by successful applicants only