Three new members appointed to the QC Selection Panel



Two new lay members and one new solicitor member have been appointed to the QC Appointments Selection Panel. Felicity Huston, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland, and Sir Alistair Graham, Chairman of PhonepayPlus and formerly Chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, are the two new lay members of the Appointments Panel. Linda Lee is the new solicitor member of the Appointments Panel. She is currently President of the Law Society. She will be stepping down as President (in July 2011) before assuming an active role as a Panel member.

Commenting on the appointment, Desmond Hudson, the Chief Executive of the Law Society, and David Hobart, the Chief Executive of the Bar Council, said: ‘We are very happy to welcome three new members to the QC Appointments Selection Panel.

All three are distinguished professionals in their respective fields and their knowledge and skills will yet further strengthen the QC Appointments process. We look forward to another successful Silk round as we proceed with the 2011-12 competition.’
– Ends –
Notes to editors:
1. Current members of the Selection Panel are:
• Professor Dame Joan Higgins DBE (Chair – appointed 2009, appointed lay Panel member 2005)
• Sir Colin Budd KCMG (lay member – appointed 2009)
• Lord Carlile of Berriew QC (senior barrister member – appointed 2009)
• Sir David Keene (retired senior judicial member – appointed 2010)
• Helen Pitcher (lay member – appointed 2009)
• Jean Ritchie QC (senior barrister member – appointed 2006)
• Lucy Scott-Moncrieff (senior solicitor member – appointed 2005)
• Razi Shah (senior solicitor member – appointed 2009)
• Karamjit Singh CBE (lay member – appointed 2005)

Lucy Scott-Moncrieff and Karamjit Singh are standing down from the Selection Panel after 5 years’ service.

2. The Selection Panel is made up of a retired senior judge, senior lawyers (including both barristers and solicitors) and distinguished lay (not legally qualified) people. The work of the Panel is shared equally between lay and legally qualified members. The Panel Chair is always a lay member. Five years is the normal maximum term. The Process agreed between the professions provides for a minimum of 9 Panel members. Two outstanding candidates were identified in the competitive selection process to fill the lay member vacancy. Exceptionally it has been agreed that for the 2011-12 competition the Panel membership should be strengthened through the appointment of an additional lay member. The way in which applications are considered will not be affected.

3. Felicity Huston is the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland and has held the post since 2005. She is a director in Huston Ltd, Tax Consultants based in Belfast – a practice she runs jointly with her husband Adrian. Before moving to the private sector, she was an HM Inspector of Taxes. She has a wide and varied experience of public life, serving on amongst other organisations the Northern Ireland Consumer Committee (as Chair) and the Lords Appointments Commission. She is currently a Trustee of Assisi Animal Sanctuary in Newtownards.

4. Sir Alistair Graham was, until April 2007, Chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life. He is currently Chairman of PhonepayPlus, an agency of Ofcom which regulates premium rate telephone services. Previously, Sir Alistair held amongst other positions the chairmanship of the Police Complaints Authority and of British Transport
Police Authority. Following twenty years as a civil service trade union leader, from 1986 to 1991, Sir Alistair was Chief Executive of the Industrial Society (now the Work Foundation). Between 1997 and 2000, Sir Alistair was Chairman of the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland, for which services he was awarded a knighthood in

5. Linda Lee became President of the Law Society in July 2010, having previously been a Law Society Council member since 2003. She is former chair of the Representation Board and of the Legal Affairs and Policy Board. A specialist in clinical negligence and coronial law, she trained in a trade union firm, Hopkins in Mansfield, before moving to Shoosmiths in Northampton. She subsequently worked at AvMA, a charity promoting better patient safety and justice for people affected by medial accidents. She lectures in clinical negligence and coronial law. She has undertaken extensive pro bono work for the Road Victim’s Trust in Bedford.