175 Made silk as revamp brings about record year

The revamped silks system looks safe for another year after its first run produced a list of QCs broadly welcomed by the litigation market.

More women, more people from ethnic minorities and more solicitors than ever before were among the record 175 appointments unveiled by the Department for Constitutional Affairs last week (20 July).

Sir Duncan Nicholl, chair of the selection panel, said: “I’m pleased if there are some surprises, but I hope there are no shocks.”

He said the selection panel had not worked to any quotas in terms of practice area, gender, ethnic background, age or market demand.

The panel is now examining ways of improving the process, including reducing the time burden on referees, before opening the competition for 2006-07.

Female applicants had an almost even chance of being appointed, with 33 of the 68 applicants successful. Those applicants who said they belonged to an ethnic minority had a 42 per cent chance of being appointed, while four out
of the 12 solicitor-advocate applicants made it through.

The oldest new silk is 10 Old Square’s Francis Barlow, who was called in 1965. The most junior is Pump Court Tax Chambers’ Julian Ghosh, who was called in 1993.

One applicant who declined to give any personal details with regard to gender, age or background was also successful.

In the regions, practitioners on the Northern Circuit fared best, with 10 new QCs in Liverpool, Manchester and Preston. Exchange Chambers in Liverpool and Manchester’s 9 St John Street shared the glory of being the first sets in the region to have three new silks in a single year.

Linklaters partner Christopher Style and Hugh James partner Mark Powell were among the four solicitor-advocates appointed. Style told The Lawyer: “I always encourage my team to flex their muscles and get up on their feet occasionally. I want to encourage more solicitors to do it.”

The list of names held few surprises, but the sheer number worried some lawyers. Colin Passmore, Simmons & Simmons head of litigation, congratulated the successful applicants, but added: “I question whether there’s enough work, or sufficient need, for another 175 silks.”

Some clerks suggested that sets such as 7 King’s Bench Walk (7KBW), which celebrated a 100 per cent success rate with its six appointments, would struggle to find work for the new QCs.

7KBW senior clerk Greg Leyden said the appointments were “the very best news that we could ever have expected”. He added that the set had planned for the expansion and that the six were already doing leading work. “It reflects the unparalleled quality of these chambers overall,” he added.

One senior clerk in a criminal set said the lower number of criminal silks was potentially a positive thing in the current marketplace, adding that many of the new QCs bolster their practices with high-value regulatory crime and fraud fields.

Among the 175 silks on the official list are 20 nominated in The Lawyer’s alternative silks list published in April 2004, the year after the old system was discontinued. Those who appear on both lists include 8 New Square’s James Mellor, Jennifer Eady of Old Square Chambers and Blackstone Chambers’ Michael Fordham.

The silks list 2006

No 5 Chambers: Anthony Crean
Atkin Chambers: Stephanie Barwise, Simon Lofthouse
Blackstone Chambers: Robert Anderson, Michael Fordham*, Dinah Rose*
Brick Court Chambers: Neil Calver
Byrom Street Chambers (Manchester): James Rowley
1 Chancery Lane: Simon Readhead
Cloisters: Paul Epstein
1 Crown Office Row: Martin Forde*
Devereux Chambers: Ingrid Simler, Colin Wynter
Doughty Street Chambers: Robin Oppenheim, Heather Williams
Enterprise Chambers: Peter Arden
One Essex Court: Anthony de Garr Robinson*, Richard Gillis*, Andrew Lenon
Essex Court Chambers: Simon Bryan, Huw Davies, David Foxton*, Martin Griffiths, John Lockey
20 Essex Street: Andrew Baker, Timothy Otty, David Owen*
39 Essex Street: Charles Cory-Wright*
Exchange Chambers: Tania Griffiths, William Waldron
Falcon Chambers: Martin Rodger, Jonathan Small
Fountain Court Chambers: Craig Orr*, Patricia Robertson
2-3 Gray’s Inn Square: Morag Ellis, David Matthias
4-5 Gray’s Inn Square: Richard Humphreys*
2 Harcourt Buildings: Gerald Gouriet
Keating Chambers: Rosemary Jackson, Alexander Nissen
6 King’s Bench Walk: David Perry
7 King’s Bench Walk: David Bailey, Robert Bright, David Edwards*, Stephen Kenny*, Simon Picken, Richard Southern
11 King’s Bench Walk: Clive Lewis*, Philip Sales
12 King’s Bench Walk: Nicholas Heathcote Williams, Stephen Worthington
Kings Chambers (Leeds): Lesley Anderson
Landmark Chambers: Nathalie Lieven*, Tim Mould
Littleton Chambers: David Reade
Maitland Chambers: Matthew Collings, Edwin Johnson, John Nicholls
Matrix Chambers: Thomas Linden, Heather Rogers*
Monckton Chambers: Michael Bowsher, Jon Turner*
Four New Square: David Halpern
8 New Square: James Mellor*
Ten Old Square: Francis Barlow
15 Old Square: Christopher Sokol
Old Square Chambers: Barry Cotter, Jennifer Eady*
9 Park Place (Cardiff): Andrew Keyser
30 Park Place (Cardiff): Lloyd Williams
4 Pump Court: James Cross, Adrian Hughes, Nicholas Vineall
Six Pump Court: Peter Harrison
Pump Court Tax Chambers: David Ewart, Julian Ghosh
Quadrant Chambers: David Goldstone, Nigel Jacobs
Radcliffe Chambers: Robert Pearce
Ropewalk Chambers (Nottingham): Patrick Limb, Dominic Nolan
St John’s Chambers (Bristol): Leslie Blohm
9 St John Street (Manchester): Paul Gilroy
St Philips Chambers: Lance Ashworth
3 Serjeants’ Inn: Philip Moon
Serle Court: Philip Jones, Khawar Qureshi
3/4 South Square: David Alexander, Stephen Atherton, Antony Zacaroli*
11 South Square: Iain Purvis*
3 Stone Buildings: Gilead Cooper
4 Stone Buildings: Jonathan Crow
9 Stone Buildings: Vivian Chapman
1 Temple Gardens: Robin Tam
2 Temple Gardens: Jaqueline Perry, Martin Porter
3 Verulam Buildings: Andrew Fletcher, Jonathan Nash*
Wilberforce Chambers: Jonathan Karas, Michael Tennet

9-12 Bell Yard: Philippa McAtasney
Devereux Chambers: Stephen Killalea
10-11 Gray’s Inn Square: Mark Muller
3 Hare Court: Peter Knox

Albion Chambers (Bristol): Michael Fitton
2 Bedford Row: Tracy Ayling, John Dodd, Mark Milliken-Smith
Seven Bedford Row: John Pini
25 Bedford Row: Paul Mendelle
36 Bedford Row: Lynn Tayton
9-12 Bell Yard: Michael Egan, Mohammed Khamisa, Christine Laing
25-27 Castle Street (Cardiff): Nicholas Johnson
Citadel Chambers (Birmingham): Mark Wall
Cloth Fair Chambers: Richard Horwell, Ian Winter
Cobden House Chambers (Manchester): Louise Blackwell
23 Essex Street: David Rainsford
Exchange Chambers: Gordon Cole
Fountain Chambers (Middlesbrough): James Hill
Guildhall Chambers (Bristol): Peter Blair, Andrew Langdon
2 Hare Court: Sallie Bennett-Jenkins, Michael Holland
Number 7 Harrington Street (Liverpool): Richard Pratt
1 High Pavement (Nottingham): Kanta Shant
Hollis Whiteman Chambers: David Jeremy, Ian Stern
KBW (Leeds): Adrian Waterman
6 King’s Bench Walk: Mark Dennis
Lamb Chambers: Bernard Richmond
2 Paper Buildings: Roderick Johnson
3 Paper Buildings: Nigel Lickley, Christopher Parker
5 Paper Buildings: Amanda Pinto
Park Court Chambers (Leeds): Bryan Cox
Peel Court Chambers (Manchester): Andrew O’Byrne
2 Pump Court: Richard Christie
Six Pump Court: Peter Gower
Three Raymond Buildings: Patrick Gibbs, Helen Malcolm
18 Red Lion Court: Stephen Harvey, Mark Lucraft
9 St John Street (Manchester): Nicholas Clarke
St Philips Chambers: Paul Farrer
Three Temple Gardens: Ian Bourne
Tooks Chambers: Joel Bennathan
Valios & Boardman Chambers: Stuart Trimmer
Walnut House Chambers (Exeter): Martin Edmunds
15 Winckley Square (Preston): Anthony Cross
York Chambers: Eric Elliott

No 5 Chambers: Lorna Meyer
Albion Chambers (Bristol): Charles Hyde
One Garden Court: Janet Bazley, Charles Geekie
Garden Court Chambers: Johanne Delahunty
9 Gough Square: Alexander Verdan
Harcourt Chambers: Frances Judd
1 Hare Court: Deborah Bangay, Nigel Dyer, Michael Nicholls
4 Paper Buildings: Kate Branigan, Marcus Scott-Manderson
30 Park Place (Cardiff): Ruth Henke
St Johns Buildings (Manchester): Sarah Singleton
St John’s Chambers (Bristol): Susan Jacklin
9 St John Street (Manchester): Gillian Irving
Zenith Chambers (Leeds): Clive Heaton

Hugh James: Mark Powell
Linklaters: Christopher Style
Venters: June Venters
Woodfines: Niall Quinn
*’Appointed’ The Lawyer counsel in 2004