Welcome to the QC Appointments website


This website is updated regularly with news and details on current competitions, information for applicants and assessors. Please return regularly to ensure you stay abreast of developments, you may also wish to add the site to your favourites.

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.

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.

The 2019 Competition is now open for applications

The Queen’s Counsel Selection Panel is inviting applications from suitably qualified advocates for appointment as Queen’s Counsel.

Completed applications must be received by 5pm on Thursday 28 March 2019.

The cost of application is £2,160 (£1800 + VAT). There will be a further appointment fee of £3,000 (+ VAT) paid by successful applicants. Those applicants with low incomes (gross fees below £60,000) are entitled to a concessionary fee rate, at half the standard level. The fees may be paid by debit card (preferred), electronic transfer, or by cheque. Payment by credit card is not accepted.

In deciding on the fees for the 2019 Competition, the QCA Directors noted that it was likely to be necessary to increase the fees in the near future.

Click on the links to the right to find the Guidance for Applicants for 2019, and the Online Application Form. Please note that a sentence (highlighted in red) was added to page 16 of the Guidance on 1 March 2019 to clarify the Selection Panel’s expectations concerning listing of cases. Previous versions of the application form will not be accepted. If you need any assistance, please contact the QCA Secretariat:

Telephone 0207 831 0020 or email to: applications@qcapppointments.org

Applicants will be informed in early September whether or not they are to be invited for interview. Interviews will take place from mid-September to mid-October. The Selection Panel’s recommendations will be passed to the Lord Chancellor in late October. It is hoped that the appointments arising from this competition will be announced before Christmas 2019.

2019 Competition: Note to Prospective Applicants

Following the consultation last year, the professional bodies have made a change to the application process for the 2019 competition.

Although applicants will continue to be asked to list 12 cases of substance in which they have been engaged as an advocate, applicants are asked to list a judge, a fellow advocate from each listed case where possible, and at least six clients from their 12 listed cases, rather than listing a total of eight judges, six fellow advocates, and four clients as prospective assessors. A note explaining the professional bodies’ decision in the light of the consultation is here.


The 108 new appointments as Queen’s Counsel were announced on 10 January 2019.

The full list of appointments, a press release relating to the announcement, the Selection Panel’s report on the 2018 competition, documents setting out how the QC Selection Panel approached the competencies, statistics from 1995 to present and a note on feedback to interviewed applicants can be found below:

The Silk Ceremony was held on Monday 11 March 2019.

If you require further information, please contact the Chief Executive of the QCA, Russell Wallman or other QCA staff on 0207 831 0020 or email enquiries@qcappointments.org.

Review of the Assessment Process

Last year, QCA commissioned an independent consultant to examine the way in which the Selection Panel operated the QC appointment process, in order to identify any changes which should be made to ensure that the Selection Panel’s decisions are as soundly based as possible.

The consultant’s report is here. The approach the Selection Panel is taking to the recommendations is here.

Feedback to QCA

If you would like to comment on the way the competition is currently run, or provide suggestions for the future, please use the feedback form on this site, link to the left, or write to the address under Contact Us.



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