Silk round 2014: 100 promoted to QC

The latest round of silk appointments has been announced. Of the total 225 applicants who embarked on the process last September, filling in a gruelling 70-page application form and securing the support of 12 judicial referees in the process, 100 will line up to be formally appointed on 14 April.

It’s a rise on the 84 who were appointed last year – the lowest number since the system was reviewed between 2003 and 2006. Yet proportionately, the figures have remained static over the last two years, with 44 per cent of applicants succeeding this year compared with 45 per cent last year.

There’s also work still to do on diversity. The number of successful women applicants is failing to climb significantly, with just 18 out of 42 female applicants awarded silk this year.

Many point to cost as being one off-putting factor for applicants generally. The application alone will set you back £2,340 (£1,950 plus VAT), while successful applicants have to stump up a little more – £4,200 (£3,500 plus VAT).

Then there is the celebratory champagne, the official ceremony, the obligatory gifts of thanks, and the party. All this adds up, you know. One silk reckons the entire process cost more than his wedding.

Still, a registry office in Croydon offers remarkably good value these days.

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