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.
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 sits on several advisory boards and the IBA’s Women Lawyer’s Interest Group, where she is also a council member. She is the UK President of the World Jurist Association and a former President of the Law Society of England and Wales.
She currently chairs two UK government bodies – LawTech UK Panel and Next Generation Services Advisory Group of UKRI. She is also Head of Faculty of the Legal Technology and Innovation Institute and an Advisory Board member for the Oxford Deep Tech Dispute Resolution Lab.
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 in 2021 a book about elites and glass ceilings. He is a visiting professor at the University of Chichester and a member of the research centre into professional service firms at Bayes Business School.
Katrina has spent most of her career in the field of Human Resources; as a practitioner and an academic. Before joining the University of Winchester, she worked at an executive level for several global healthcare organisations. Her career portfolio has encompassed public appointments, volunteering, non-executive positions, academia, and external examiner roles.
Katrina’s public appointments include: Independent Panellist for the Judicial Appointments Commission (2004-12) and Member of the Review Body for Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (2006-12). In 2019, she was made a Chartered Companion of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development for her outstanding contribution to equality and inclusion. Currently, Katrina is a PhD Supervisor, volunteer Council Member of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and a carer.
Katrina is an HM Forces Veteran; she served in the Merchant Navy and Royal Naval Reserves. She was one of the first women to work on a minesweeper when the QRRNs changed to allow women at sea.
Rachel Langdale QC qualified as a barrister in 1990 and was appointed QC in 2009. As a junior she had a wide-ranging practice and as a QC works predominantly in the fields of family law and public inquiries. Rachel practises from 7 Bedford Row.
Rachel was Chair of the Bar Council Ethics Committee (2017-2020) after a year as Vice-Chair (2016) and membership of the Committee for several years. She was elected a Bencher of Middle Temple in 2011, and was Co-Chair of the Temple Women’s Forum between 2013-2018. She is currently Chair of the Middle Temple Bench Selection Advisory Committee.
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 held a range of positions relating to appointments including as a Judicial Appointments Commissioner and as a Public Appointments Assessor at the Cabinet Office. She currently chairs fitness to practice tribunals for Social Work England and is chair of the Regulatory & Conduct Appointment Committee for the ICAEW.
In 2015 she co-founded Refugees at Home to match generous hosts with asylum-seekers and refugees in need. It has now made about 2,500 placements and hosted for almost 200,000 individual person nights.
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.
Maggie works with many public and private sector organisations at a senior level on leadership development, cultural change and organisational 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 Companion of the Chartered Management Institute.
She is a Non-Executive Director of Jamaica National Bank UK, a Non-Executive Director for Inclusion, at PwC Business Restructuring Services, and a member of the University of Cambridge HR Committee.
Mena Ruparel qualified as a solicitor in 1998, she is the Chair of the Law Society family committee having previously been Chief Assessor of the Law Society family law accreditations. She is interested in legal education and has been a visiting lecturer at the University of the West of England and more recently at the University of Law. Mena has authored a number of legal publications for the Law Society, Bath Publishing and CILEX law school. She was the Chief Examiner of the CILEX Family Law level 6 examination for a number of years.
Mena is a well-known speaker and commentator on the subjects of both family law and legal ethics. In 2021 she won the Law Society award for Excellence in Promoting High Ethical Standards with the co-author of her book on ethics for solicitors.
Mena volunteers regularly, this includes delivering food parcels for those in need for a local charity and recording the local news for distribution to visually impaired residents.
Monisha is Chair of Wikimedia UK. She is also the Senior Independent Member (Chair) of the Arts and Humanities Research Council. She serves on two regulatory Boards, the Office for Students and the Ofcom Content Board. In a voluntary capacity, she serves as a Trustee of the Art Fund and of Caterham School. In previous roles, she was Chair of Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, and served as Trustee of Donmar Warehouse, National Gallery and the Foundling Museum. She has a professional background in media and intellectual property having worked for 10 years at BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC before stepping down in 2010.
Monisha has a post-graduate degree from SOAS and an executive MBA from the London Business School. In 2007, she was appointed Trustee of Tate, a Prime Ministerial appointment. In 2010, she was nominated Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. In December 2015, Monisha was invited by the Prime Minister to join the Committee on Standards in Public Life.
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)
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.
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.