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Thu, 9 July 2020

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Chair of the Bar, Richard Atkins QC, congratulates the 108 new Queen's Counsel

Bar Council

2 min read Member content

Richard Atkins QC, Chair of the Bar, comments on the latest appointment of QCs. He said:

"Congratulations to all of the candidates who have become Queen’s Counsel (QC). Taking silk is a tremendous achievement which is acknowledged not only in England & Wales but around the world and recognises exceptionally high standards of advocacy. To those who were not successful, I would encourage them not to be too down-hearted. As I know from personal experience, good things do not always come on the first application!

“Some trends from this announcement offer encouragement on diversity in the QC ranks. There is a greater success rate amongst women applicants (55 per cent) compared to men (42 per cent), but the fact remains under a quarter of applicants (23 per cent) were women. Almost one-hundred years after the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919, there is still a lot of progress to be made on securing gender parity in the QC ranks. In terms of BAME applicants, the success of those who declared themselves of ethnic origin is on a par with white candidates this year, although slightly down from last year. 


“We need to look closely at what more can be done to encourage applications and the Bar Council will be doing more work on this topic this year. There is a need to encourage applications for Silk from a much wider talent pool. The Bar Council offers a Silk and Judicial Mentoring scheme, as do some of the specialist Bar Associations and circuits. We encourage quality candidates from all backgrounds to use this support when considering applying for silk.”  


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