Perhaps the biggest criticisms of the new silk appointment process have come from those who acted as referees. Initially positive reactions from hour-long telephone conversations with recruitment consultants turned to disbelief when written references were sent for approval. It seems that our learned friends had trouble understanding the new process and became terribly upset when their comments were sent back to them. Recruiters Odgers Ray & Berndtson say they were only following instructions.
The palaver sparked rumours that executive search consultancy Odgers was axed. However, the bar grapevine got it slightly wrong this time. The QC Appointments Secretariat confirmed that Odgers was only hired on a 12-month contract. However, it won't be reappointed automatically and will have to stand in line with fellow beauty parade contestants next year. Whoever gets the job might try its best not to upset QCs, partners and, yes, judges, who act as referees. The Lawyer believes it's never a good idea to get on the wrong side of judges. Get the latest news and an irreverent commentary delivered to your desktop every Wednesday by subscribing to Lawyer News Weekly.