Remove QCs' aura of secrecy

Your 'Silks Special' (The Lawyer, 7 April) raised a number of interesting arguments. Much of the argument, though, seemed to focus on the income of QCs rather than whether QCs offer a value for money product.

There are, from personal experience, those who seem rather fortunate to have become QCs.

Several years ago I recall leaving a conference with a leader wondering why I had wasted two hours. It was clear that, despite the claims made in the chamber's glossy brochure, this gentleman had not got to grips with the subject which he was claiming expertise in.

It is for solicitors to instruct QCs who can offer a good service at a reasonable cost, so as to produce cost-effective client satisfaction.

There are clearly those leaders who may need some education or re-education in how to serve the best interests of a client. Regretfully, some solicitors choose an individual whose name they have stumbled across, rather than having researched the market. QC does not mean 'quality confirmed'.

In the majority of cases there is the opportunity to instruct a good junior rather than a QC, although in some cases a leader who has demonstrated excellence is well worth his money.

I went to a QC who I think had been described in one of your articles as 'a port in a storm'. That statement could not have been nearer the truth as the gentleman concerned demonstrated competence and excellence of the highest order.

QCs win-loss ratio may well prove to be a useful indicator and it is a pity that such trial statistics are not actually published. However, good lawyers do much of their work outside court. It is here that good commercial decisions are made and cases are perhaps won and lost.

Becoming a QC is, I think, a public appointment. It would seem only right that the interviewing process be made a more open one, perhaps with an interview panel not consisting solely of those that have come up through the same process. This would also help to remove the aura of secrecy which surrounds what is happening at the moment.

CWD Wright

DAS legal Expenses Insurance.