A total of 120 Queen’s Counsel have been appointed in the 2011 Silk round, 48 per cent of those who applied.Three chambers gained four new QCs apiece — Maitland Chambers, Thirty-Nine Essex Street and No5 Chambers.
Peter Lodder QC, Chairman of the Bar, said: “I would like to offer warm congratulations to all the newly appointed silks. We were particularly pleased to see that the proportion of women continues to rise, comprising over 22 per cent of appointments this year. It is extremely important that barristers from all backgrounds and practice areas, of the requisite quality, view taking silk as a viable and realistic ambition.”
Professor Dame Joan Higgins, Chair of the QC Selection Panel, said: “Once again, the quality of applicants was very high and the Panel has been impressed with the wide range of backgrounds and practices represented among the new Queen’s Counsel.
“We noted, in particular, the success of some two-thirds of all female applicants who are taking Silk this year.
“Relatively few female advocates are putting themselves forward for consideration for QC. But the markedly higher success rate for women applicants this year should send a positive signal to all suitably qualified women advocates, whether barrister or solicitor.”
In the last round, 43 per cent of women applicants were subsequently appointed.
Of those who declared their ethnic origin, 12 new silks are non-white. Two appointees declared a disability. Four applicants are more than 55 years old.
Two out of five solicitor-advocates — David Price of David Price Solicitors and Timothy Taylor of SJ Berwin — and one out of two employed advocates who applied were successful. In the last round, only one out of ten solicitor advocate applicants was appointed.
Lucy Scott-Moncrieff and Karamjit Singh are standing down as selection panel members, after serving the maximum five-year term.
Three new members have been appointed: Felicity Huston, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland; Sir Alistair Graham, Chairman of PhonepayPlus and formerly Chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life; and Linda Lee, currently President of the Law Society but due to step down in July, who becomes the new solicitor member of the panel.
The 2012 Silk round has opened. Applicants for Queen’s Counsel have until 5pm on 20 April 2011 to submit their applications to the QC Selection Panel. An application fee of £1,950 plus VAT applies, and successful applicants will need to pay a further £3,500 plus VAT. The new appointments will be announced in early 2012.
2011: Honorary Silks
Six Honorary Silks were also appointed: Sir Geoffrey Bindman, of Bindman and Partners; former Clifford Chance senior partner Stuart Popham; Peters & Peters consultant Monty Raphael; First Parliamentary Counsel Sir Stephen Laws; Master Roger Venne, who is Master of the Crown Office; and Edinburgh University Professor Anthony Bradley