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Zahra Pabani
Zahra Pabani
Partner - Family Law
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Family lawyers are celebrated at QC appointment ceremony
Date:26 FEB 2018
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Seven family law barristers were among the 119 barristers and solicitors to be formally appointed to the rank of Queen’s Counsel today, in a ceremony presided over by the Lord Chancellor, David Gauke.

Congratulations to Nicholas Allen QC of 29 Bedford Row, Michael Glaser QC of Fourteen, Sam King QC of 4PB (Family Law Junior Barrister of the Year 2015), Vanessa Meachin QC of 3PB, Gemma Taylor QC of 42 Bedford Row, Owen Thomas QC of 9 Park Place, and Nicholas Yates QC of 1 Hare Court.

Congratulations also to leading international family law expert Professor Nigel Lowe, who was appointed as Honorary Queen’s Counsel. The Professor Emeritus of Law at Cardiff University is an editor of Family Law Reports, a consultant editor of International Family Law and is a member of the editorial board for Child and Family Law Quarterly. He has written extensively, contributing to acclaimed titles including International Movement of Children: Law, Practice and  Procedure, The 1996 Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and The Continuing Evolution of Family Law.

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David Gauke said:

‘Today represents a journey to the pinnacle of your profession. That journey has been more marathon, than sprint, and I congratulate you on lasting the course so far.

The title of Queen’s Counsel is a mark of excellence, not just in this country but around the world, where it plays an important role in supporting the attractiveness of English and Welsh legal services more broadly.’

Of the new silks overall, 32 are women (out of 50 who applied) – a comparable figure to the numbers in the previous round. The 18 black and ethnic minority (BAME) advocates appointed was the highest number ever, which represents 15% of the total appointments and matches the proportion of BAME advocates of the relevant seniority.  The youngest is 34-years-old, while the oldest is 63. Some 21 of the new silks are over the age of 50 years. Five of the successful applicants are solicitor-advocates.

Chair of the Bar, Andrew Langdon QC, said at the time the appointments were announced: 

‘Despite more encouraging diversity figures from this year's intake, it is important that we continue to make progress. The Bar Council's Silk Mentoring scheme is just one initiative aimed at supporting barristers seeking Silk, irrespective of their background.’

The 2018 QC competition is open for applications until 28 March 2018.

QCs are appointed by Her Majesty The Queen on the advice of the Lord Chancellor, following consideration by the independent Queen’s Counsel Selection Panel.

Sir Alex Allan continues as Chair of the Panel in 2018. 

Rachel Langdale QC of 7BR and Penelope Reed QC of 5 Stone Buildings have joined the Selection Panel as new legal members. Rachel Langdale specialises in Children Act cases, covering both public and private law. Penelope Reed has a broad chancery practice focused on trusts, wills and inheritance disputes.

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