Female silk numbers on the up as 93 appointed QC

After months of nail-biting tension, 88 barristers and five solicitor-advocates opened envelopes this week confirming they could add ‘QC’ to their names.

The numbers appointed silk this year are slightly down on 2013/14, when 100 were appointed. But the number of applications from female candidates, and the number of women appointed, are at an all-time high. Just under 27 per cent of the new silks are women, and the proportion of female applicants is the highest-ever.

Meanwhile five solicitor-advocates have been appointed for the second year running. The list includes partners from Clifford Chance, Hogan Lovells and King & Spalding.

There was a wide range in call dates this year, with the most senior new QCs called to the bar in 1981 and the most junior called in 1999.

The appointments panel’s report also reveals that 73 candidates were making a repeat application, with 32 of them successful this time around. But the burden of applying again was lessened slightly this year, after the secretariat cut the application fee by £150 to £1,800 (plus VAT). The successful silks, on top of shelling out for the accessories to their ceremony on 16 February, also have to pay an appointment fee of £3,000 (plus VAT) – but that too has come down from last year.

The whole application process remains lengthy and burdensome, and recognises years of hard work. Congratulations are due to all 93 QCs.

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