The Lord Chancellor has approved the appointment of five new family law Queen's Counsel today.
One of the newly appointed QCs, Charles Hale from 4 Paper Buildings, was shortlisted for Family Law Junior Barrister of the Year 2012. He will also be a speaker at this year's Family Property and Finance Conference to be held in London 18 June 2014. Three of the five new family silks have written for Family Law.
The number of family law silks appointed this year is the same as last year but less than in previous years. In 2012 seven silks were appointed and in 2011 a record of 17 silks were selected.
Overall 95 barristers and 5 solicitor-advocates were named as QCs today, reversing a downward trend of previous years. Last year there were 84 new silks, down from the 99QC appointments in 2012. The 100 newly appointed silks is the largest number for 3 years.
The number of applications made also increased. 225 applications were received in the 2013-2014 competition, compared to 183 applications in 2012 and 216 applications in 20122. Of the 225 applicants 183, which marks a 4% decrease from last year. Female applicants rose by 5% to 42.
Successful women applicants rose from 14 last year to 18 this year. Ethnic minority applicants had the biggest increase in successful applicants having had just 3 last year compared to 13 this year. Solicitors were the most successful group of all the applicants - out of 7 applicants, 5 were successful.
Speaking of the appointments, Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling said:
'I congratulate the six Honorary Queen's Counsel on their appointment. Nominated by their peers, this honorary appointment recognises their pioneering contribution to the law of England and Wales outside of practise in the courts.
The appointment of a further 100 QCs to those barristers and solicitors that have provided excellence in advocacy is well deserved.'
The new silks will be sworn in on Monday, 14 April. The independent Queen's Counsel Selection Panel will invite applications for the next round of appointments in early March 2014.