Lord Irvine signals end for Queen’s Counsel

The Lord Chancellor last week indicated that he will be swapping the silks system for a quality mark set up by the barristers’ profession. The surprise concession by Lord Irvine follows his recent decision to appoint more silks than ever before. The Office of Fair Trading concluded in 2001 that it was “hard to see” the benefits of the system. Speaking at the ceremony for the presentation of silks awards, Lord Irvine also announced that he will not make any silks appointments in 2004. First revealed on www.thelawyer.com/lawyernews 29 April