Lord Chancellor welcomes historic promotion of talent for new silks

More female and black and minority ethnic candidates have been appointed Queen’s Counsel than ever before.

Of the 113 successful applicants appointed Queen’s Counsel today (12 January 2017), 31 were women (up from 25 last year), and 16 were of a BAME background (up from 9). In addition, distinguished academics are among the 5 new Honorary Queen’s Counsel also appointed today.

The news has been welcomed by the Lord Chancellor, Elizabeth Truss, who is working closely with the legal industry to break down barriers and improve promotion of talent across the board, from law firms to Supreme Court judges.

Lord Chancellor Elizabeth Truss said:

"I commend each of the 113 barristers and solicitors, alongside the five Honorary Queen’s Counsel, for their appointments.

"I want us to tap into all the talents of our society and today’s appointments are a step in the right direction. The number of women and BAME candidates applying and being successful is moving in the right direction.

"There is more to be done, but my message is clear - when you widen the pool of talent from which lawyers and judges are drawn, you make the justice system stronger."

Today the Judicial Appointments Commission also launches the latest recruitment exercise for High Court judges. The selection process has been changed so the wider merits of all candidates are recognised. For the first time, it opens the door to a wider pool of ‘direct-entry candidates’ – individuals who while exceptionally talented have not had previous judicial experience.