The agreed Process provides for an independent Selection Panel, comprising a retired senior judge, senior barristers, senior solicitors and lay (not legally qualified) members. The Panel is chaired by a lay member. The members of the Selection Panel who will oversee the 2020 competition are below.

For information about a member of the Queen’s Counsel Selection Panel please click on relevant name.

Sir Alex Allan KCB has had a long career at the highest levels of the civil service, including as Principal Private Secretary (Chief of Staff) to the Prime Minister and to the Chancellor of the Exchequer; Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Justice; High Commissioner to Australia; and Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee.  He is currently the Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests.

He is married to journalist and author Sarah Stacey, and has many interests including music, sailing, cycling, computers and bridge.

Douglas Board is an executive coach and an expert on leadership and selection, in which he completed his doctorate. Previously he was a Treasury civil servant and then deputy chairman of the executive search firm Saxton Bampfylde. He has led many pioneering leadership appointments relating to merit, diversity and the law, including on the foundation of the Judicial Appointments Commission and its audit-based predecessor. He was a trustee and then treasurer of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and chair of the British Refugee Council. He is the author of two applied research books on leadership, two novels and (forthcoming in 2021) a book about elites and glass ceilings.

Christina Blacklaws studied Jurisprudence at Oxford University and qualified as a solicitor in 1991. She has been a lifelong innovator in the legal field establishing one of the first ‘virtual’ law firms, setting up the first Alternative Business Structure with the Cooperative Group and was one of the first to hold the title of Director of Innovation in a law firm. Christina now acts as a non-executive director for several law firms, consults in the legal, tech and diversity and inclusion sectors and is an international speaker and commentator.

Passionate about diversity and inclusion, she represents the Women Lawyers Division on the Council of the Law Society of England and Wales and was its President from 2018-2019.

She currently chairs two UK government bodies – LawTech UK Panel and Next Generation Services Advisory Group of UKRI. She is a Simon Industrial and Professional Fellow of the University of Manchester; Head of Faculty of the Legal Technology and Innovation Institute and an Advisory Board member for the Oxford Deep Tech Dispute Resolution Lab.

Rachel Langdale QC qualified as a barrister in 1990 and practised as a mixed practitioner in her early years at the Bar, undertaking cases in crime, family, personal injury, clinical negligence and public inquiry work. In later years (and since taking silk in 2009), Rachel has largely specialised in children law cases and public inquiry work.

Rachel is a Bencher of Middle Temple.

Sara Nathan is a broadcast journalist by background, first at the BBC and then as Editor of Channel 4 News – the first woman to edit a network news programme in the UK.

Since 1998 she has combined roles in journalism, regulation and public policy. She has had a range of positions relating to appointments including as a Judicial Appointments Commissioner and as a Public Appointments Assessor at the Cabinet Office. She was recently appointed chair of the Regulatory Board Nominations Committee for the Accountants’ regulator.

In 2015 she co-founded Refugees At Home to match generous hosts with asylum-seekers and refugees in need. It has now made over 2,500 placements and hosted for over 180,000 individual person nights.

His Honour Phillip Sycamore CBE is a former Circuit Judge, Tribunal Chamber President and Deputy Vice President of Tribunals. He retired from full-time judicial office in March 2020.

One of the first Solicitor Higher Courts Advocates, he was in private practice from 1975 to 2001, specialising in professional negligence and regulatory/disciplinary work.

He was President of the Law Society of England and Wales from 1997-1998, becoming a Circuit Judge in 2001 and a Chamber President in 2008. In retirement he continues to sit as a Deputy High Court Judge and as a Deputy Judge of the Upper Tribunal.

He was a Senior Judicial Appointments Commissioner from 2014-2020.

His current appointments include:

  • Member of the Queens Counsel Selection Panel
  • Member of the Judicial Appointments Commission Targeted Outreach
  • Programme (as a former Senior Commissioner)
  • Member of the General Dental Council’s Statutory Panellists Assurance Committee
  • Member of the Council of the University of Lancaster

He is a Sports Arbitrator (Sport Resolutions (UK) Panel of Arbitrators and a Specialist Panel Member, Judicial Panel of the Football Association)

Maggie works with many public and private sector organisations at a senior level on leadership development, cultural change and organizational development. She has held a number of senior roles including being a member of several high profile Government and EU task groups and has represented the UK in Greece and Hong Kong.

From 2001-2007 Maggie was a Civil Service Commissioner. Maggie is a Fellow of the City & Guilds Institute, a trustee of the Kerry Nicholls Dance Company and a Governor of the South Bank Arts Centre.

She is a Non-Executive Director of Jamaica National Bank UK and a member of the University of Cambridge HR Committee.

Monisha has extensive senior level management and Board experience in the Creative Industries working with both public and private sector organisations.  She is Chair of Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, Non-executive member of the Board of the Office for Students, independent member of Ofcom’s content Board, and independent director on the Board of Next Mediaworks, a media company in India.  She is also a serving Trustee of the Art Fund, Donmar warehouse and Caterham School.  Monisha was invited by the Prime Minister to join the Committee on Standards in Public Life in 2015.

Among her previous roles, Monisha served as Trustee of Tate, National Gallery, and the Foundling Museum.  Her last executive role was at BBC Worldwide, where she worked for 10 years before stepping down in 2010.

Monisha has a post-graduate degree from SOAS, and an executive MBA from the London Business School.  She was elected Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in February 2009.

Andrew Walker QC qualified as a barrister in 1991, and was appointed QC in 2011. He practises from Maitland Chambers, mainly in the fields of property, company and commercial disputes, and claims against professionals. He also sits as an arbitrator and adjudicator.

He was Chair of the Bar of England and Wales in 2018, after a year as Vice-Chair and 12 years as an elected member (when he served as Chair of the Ethics Committee and Vice-Chair of the Law Reform and Access to the Bar Committees). He was elected a Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn in 2016. He was awarded the Bar Pro Bono Award in 2009 for some of his work with the homelessness charity, ‘Shelter’, and is currently a trustee of The Industry and Parliament Trust, a trustee of The Conservation Volunteers, and a member of the delivery group of the Slynn Foundation.

Rosemary Rollason has practised as a solicitor in regulatory and disciplinary law throughout her career. Rosemary has been a partner in regulatory teams at Field Fisher Waterhouse and Russell Jones & Walker/Slater & Gordon, and a Consultant at Bevan Brittan LLP. In late 2017, Rosemary established her own practice, R J Rollason Law, advising a wide range of professional regulators.  She is appointed as a legal assessor to the disciplinary panels of several regulatory bodies.

Rosemary was a founder committee member and Secretary of The Association of Regulatory & Disciplinary Lawyers (ARDL) and currently supports ARDL’s Education Sub-Committee.

Dame Anne Rafferty retired from the Court of Appeal in July 2020. As a QC at the criminal Bar she was from 1989-1997 Secretary, Vice Chairman, then Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association. She was the only barrister member of the Runciman Commission on criminal justice. She was de facto Chairman of the Criminal Procedure Rule Committee, Vice-Chairman of the Judicial Appointments Commission and Chairman of the Judicial College.  She is Chancellor of the University of Sheffield.

The Panel Members have declared interests which may be material to selecting and recommending appointment of potential Silks. These are set out in the Register of Panel Members’ Interests. A link to the Register is below.

Register of Panel Members Interests 2021