On the surface, the selection panel for new QCs looks respectable – a couple of high-profile silks, a chief Crown prosecutor, several lay members who have held major public appointments… But there is no true commercial representation – nobody from a major commercial set or City firm.
The solicitor members of the new panel are the managing partner of a legal aid firm and the Chief Crown Prosecutor for South Wales. Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss is the outgoing president of the Family Division. One of the QC members, Roy Amlott, was a fierce legal aid campaigner during his tenure as Bar Council chair, and the other, Sonia Proudman, specialises in property law.
These specialisms are all worthy and need representation, but the exclusion of experts in commercial law, which provides so much of the UK’s legal income, is concerning. Is the panel really best placed to judge which commercial juniors are suitable for QC status?