Recommendations for the award of Queen’s Counsel are made by the Queen’s Counsel Selection Panel. The Selection Panel is supported by its own Secretariat. The Selection Panel is independent of the Bar Council, the Law Society and of Government.
The process for the award of Queen’s Counsel was agreed between the Bar Council and the Law Society and approved by the Lord Chancellor (Lord Falconer) in 2004 following extensive work by the Bar Council for England & Wales, the Law Society of England and Wales and the Department, with the help of independent consultants. It was modified in 2006 in the light of experience in the initial competition.
As the agreement on the process records, combined with the competency framework, it “serves the public interest by offering a fair and transparent means of identifying excellence in advocacy in the higher courts”. The scheme provides for the identification of the very best advocates rigorously and objectively and promotes fairness, excellence and diversity.
The Selection Panel carried out an initial competition under the new arrangements in 2005-06 and has since run annual competitions. Results from the previous competitions can be found on the Completed Competitions page.