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QASA, the levelling scheme

5 March 2012

Another year, another disappointment for solicitor advocates as none of the applicants for silk made the grade.

More disturbing still is the fact that only two had applied. It’s not that previous years were much better. The number of applications was just as low last year, the only difference being that both were appointed QCs.

Altogether, only 11 solicitor advocates got silk since the more transparent process was rolled out in 2005-06.

Unsurprisingly, the panel responsible for QC appointments is concerned. One of the aims of the new process was to make it less focused on the Bar and to encourage talented solicitor advocates to apply.

But, even with the reassurance that they will not be treated differently from barrister applicants, solicitor advocates are simply not interested, it seems, in competing for an old-fashioned badge of honour so inherently tied to the Bar.

If the intention behind the modernised QC appointment scheme was ...

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