Press Release on Profile of Applicants


Queen’s Counsel Appointments announced today the make up of the applicants who have applied to be considered for appointment as Queen’s Counsel.  They show a significant increase in the proportion of female applicants.

The totals (with figures provided by the Department for Constitutional Affairs for 2002-2003, the previous occasion on which applications for Silk were considered) are as follows:

 TOTALreceivedBarristerSolicitorMale FemaleWhiteNon-whiteundeclared
2005443431 (97%)12(3%)376 (85%)66 (15%)422 (95%)21 (5%)1
2002-3DCA figs394384(97.5%)10(2.5%)355(90%)39(10%)371(94%)23(6%)incl with White

2 applicants declared a disability

All applicants were asked to indicate a broad field of practice (more than one can be ticked).  The results were:

Family​ 44​10%

The process is self-financing and is paid for by fees paid by applicants.  The new scheme is administered through an independent organisation, Queen’s CounselAppointments.  Queen’s Counsel Appointments is constituted as a service company, limited by guarantee, set up by the Bar Council and the Law Society.  However, the operation of the scheme and decision in relation to individual applications are taken by a nine person independent Selection Panel chaired by Sir Duncan Nichol CBE.  The Selection Panel will make recommendations to the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, together with information about the profile of recommended and not recommended applicants. He will put the recommendations to The Queen.  Lord Falconer has no power to veto names or to add names of his own.

QCA expect shortly to begin taking references from judges, other practitioners and from professional clients named by applicants as being familiar with their work.  Later, applicants will be interviewed.  


Notes to Editors

1.​The Directors of the Queen’s Counsel Appointments company are the Chief Executive of the Law Society, Janet Paraskeva, and the Chief Executive of the Bar Council, David Hobart 

2. ​Members of the Queen’s Counsel Selection Panel are:

Sir Duncan Nichol CBE (Chairman)
Roy Amlot QC
Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, GBE 
Ruth Evans
Professor Joan Higgins
Sonia Proudman QC
Lucy Scott-Moncrieff
Karamjit Singh, CBE
Christopher Woolley

3. ​A document setting out the principles and mechanics of the new process was agreed by the Bar and the Law Society in November 2004. This and further information is available from the QCA  website:

4.​Under the new Scheme developed by the Bar Council and the Law Society, with the support of the Department for Constitutional Affairs, applicants will be considered against seven competences:• Integrity• Understanding and using the law• Analysing case material to develop arguments and focus the issues• Persuading – communicating arguments• Responding to unfolding case• Working with the client• Working in the team

5.​The Scheme is self-financing.  To cover the costs of the process applicants have to pay an application fee of £1800.  There will be a further appointment fee of £2250 paid by successful applicants only.

6.​Further information can be obtained from David Watts, Head of QC Appointments Secretariat 0207 831 0020.