Females make up just 20 per cent of honorary silk nominations

Just 20 per cent of the people nominated for the honorary QC title in the past three years were women, The Lawyer can reveal.

A second Freedom of Information request to the Ministry of Justice has found that a total of 81 people were nominated for the title between 2010 and 2012, with 62 men and 19 women put forward.

In the nomination period for the 2010 round, of the 22 people nominated for honorary silk, 17 were men and five were women. In 2011, out of 35 nominations, 28 were men and seven were women. In 2012, out of 24 nominations, 17 were men and seven were women.

As reported in The Lawyer last week, although 46 people were appointed honorary QCs between 2000 and 2012, only seven women made the cut during this period (12 March 2012).

In 2010, Professor Sarah Worthington was the only woman out of five people to be appointed honorary QC. Although no women were appointed in 2011, in 2012 things improved slightly when two females were given the nod, with Professor Dawn Oliver and Professor Sandra Fredman both being appointed honorary silks alongside Charles Dhanowa, Stephen Grosz and Michael Payton (29 February 2012).

See The Lawyer’s suggestions for female lawyers who would be worthy of consideration for next year’s honorary QC list here.