In the past, there was a widespread impression that appointment as QC was effectively reserved to white, male, barristers, educated at public school and at Oxbridge.
Whether or not that was ever the reality in the past, it certainly is not now. It is a matter of real importance in the public interest that appointment as QC should be equally available to all higher courts’ advocates, regardless of race, gender, educational background or other extraneous personal characteristic. The sole test must be excellence in all the competencies which go up to make excellence as an advocate, not personal background.
QCA has been determined to ensure that it does all it can to ensure that appointment as QC is equally available to all. We thought it might be helpful, particularly to potential applicants from less traditional backgrounds, to provide some pen pictures of recent appointments, to show how diverse appointments as QC now are.
The pen pictures which follow are all of applicants appointed in 2014. We are very grateful to them for agreeing to participate, and for giving up their time to be interviewed. We hope that their stories will be of interest to prospective applicants in 2015 and beyond.
Helen Pitcher OBE
Chairman, QC Selection Panel