Applications for the 2021 Queen’s Counsel competition are now open.

Please click here to register and complete the 2021 online application form. Guidance for Applicants is available here, and the FAQs can be found here.

You can also access the form and the Guidance for Applicants on our Forms & Guidance page.

If you need assistance or have any enquiries, please contact us at or call 0207 831 0020.

The closing date for applications is 5pm 31 March 2021.

The award of Queen’s Counsel is for excellence in advocacy in the higher courts. It is made to advocates who have rights of audience in the higher courts of England and Wales and have demonstrated the competencies in the Competency Framework to a standard of excellence.

Queen’s Counsel are appointed from amongst practising advocates – both barristers and solicitors. They are appointed because they have demonstrated excellence in advocacy in difficult cases in the higher courts of England and Wales, or in tribunals or arbitrations.

More information about barristers can be found at, and about solicitors at

The Queen’s Counsel Selection Panel is responsible for recommendations to the Lord Chancellor on appointment of Queen’s Counsel. However, Queen’s Counsel Appointments does not deal with complaints about QCs. Those are dealt with by the Legal Ombudsman; or by the Bar Standards Board for barristers or the Solicitors Regulations Authority for solicitor QCs.

Applications are welcome from all suitably qualified advocates – including solicitors and employed advocates, as well as barristers in independent practice. Applications are also particularly welcomed from women, members of ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and other groups that are currently under-represented. You can download all forms required to become a member of the Queen’s Counsel by clicking here.