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Taking silk: Quinn, Gibson and Freshfields heavyweights among new QCs in 107-strong round

A trio of City heavyweights has been appointed among 107 new Queen’s Counsel (QC) announced today (11 January), an increase on last year’s round of 93. 

Of the nine solicitor advocates who applied, there were three successful candidates, a drop on 2014/15 when five solicitor advocates were appointed. This year’s appointments include Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan arbitration head Stephen Jagusch (pictured), Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher international arbitration group co-chair Penny Madden, and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer London arbitration head Nigel Rawding.

However the Queen’s Counsel Selection Panel has said the number of females applicants taking silk remains ‘stubbornly low’.

A report on the 2015/16 competition showed there were 25 successful women applicants of the 48 who applied – the same amount as last year when 25 out of 43 female applicants were successful.

Nine applicants aged over 50 were appointed, the same as last year and the youngest successful applicant is 34 years old and the oldest is 57. One of the four applicants who declared a disability was successful. In 2014-15 three applicants who declared a disability were appointed. There were nine successful applicants who declared an ethnic origin other than white out of the 32 who applied, a dip on last year in which 10 applicants out of 24 were appointed.

Figures recorded since 1995 show that while applications have fallen, the success rate of those applying has vastly improved – two decades ago only 14% of all allocations for QC were successful while today the figure stands at 45%.

Justice Secretary Michael Gove will preside over an appointment ceremony at Westminster Hall on 22 February.

Chairman of the selection panel Helen Pitcher said: ‘We remain concerned that the number of female applicants remains stubbornly low, but I am pleased that of those women who did apply, 52% were successful. While I was pleased to note a rise in BAME applicants to 14% of applications it is disappointing that the success rate for BAME applicants was lower than that for applicants as a whole.’

Other high profile names to take silk include One Crown Office Row human rights barrister Marina Wheeler, the wife of Boris Johnson, public law barrister, Shaheed Fatima from Blackstone Chambers, 39 Essex Chambers’ Justine Thornton, and Wilberforce Chambers’ Tim Penny, who recently moved to the set from the now-dissolved 11 Stone Buildings.

Roche general counsel and company secretary, Funke Abimbola, who recently published a paper on social mobility and diversity in the profession with Byfield Consultancy, tells Legal Business: ‘The talent pool of those awarded silk is generally made up of the elitist of the profession. The process of application is biased towards to those with great networks and weighty referees – and not everyone will have the time to invest in the application process. Also, the blending of the roles of solicitor-advocate and the barrister hasn’t gone far enough – there are few differences between both roles now.’

‘As for the female diversity stats, this is just evident of stats at the senior end of the Bar generally. The Bar is, however, trying a lot to improve but such improvement in the next few years will continue to be marginal.’

The full list of Queen’s Counsel, by order of seniority:

Simon Paul Steven Cairnes

Jayne Margaret Adams

Kim Franklin

Kennedy Vernon Talbot

Michael Charles Anthony Bedford

Terence Edward Bergin

Peter Anthony Makepeace

Marina Wheeler

James Michael Scott Ramsden

Paul David Ozin

Steven Suppiah Perian

Timothy Charles Penny

Andrew John Moran

Henry James Witcomb

Jonathan Charles Ashley-Norman

Derek Anthony O’Sullivan

Ian James Clarke

Ian Francis Henderson

Sarah Joanne Lee

Cathryn Margaret McGahey

Michael Joseph Ivers

Kerry Louise Bretherton

Michael Andrew Horne

Andrew David Norton

Cyrus Rais Larizadeh

Aidan Patrick Casey

Douglas James Campbell

Richard Julian Henshaw Edwards

Nicholas John Grundy

Mark Eliot George Harper

Emma Rebecca Deacon

Adam John Weitzman

Katharine Susannah Gollop

Adam Sebastian Feest

Justine Thornton

Caroline Mary Shea

Siobhan Grey

Richard William Scott Ground

John Foster Harrison

Alan Grant Johns

Louise June Sweet

Gemma White

Nicholas James Johnson

Catrin Miranda Evans

Simon James Fox

Daniel Nicholas Tatton-Brown

Richard Duncan Atkinson

Philip Evans

Simon Charles Kilvington

William Laurence Latimer-Sayer

Daniel Lightman

William Owain Thomas

Aidan Vine

Thomas Charles Weekes

Jeremy Rupert Daniel Hyam

Oliver Edwin James Glasgow

Alexander Frederick Hickey

James Herbert Maxwell-Scott

Thomas Moody-Stuart

Tobias Augustine William Riley-Smith

Ben Matthew Valentin

Stephen Richard Jagusch

Giles Francis Sacheveral Cockings

Clodagh Maria Bradley

Richard Colin Wilson

Benjamin Roger Collins

James Ewins

James Abrahams

Bridget Maura Dolan

Thomas Richard Hinchliffe

Simon Spiro Malynicz

Kama Louise Melly

Peter Skelton

Clare Adele Sibson

David Ian Head

Stephen Moses

Harry David Glyn Steinberg

Julian Hector Marriott Kenny

Sudhanshu Swaroop

Richard Thomas Kimblin

Hannah Markham

Adam Charles Prest

Daniel Bayfield

Salim Abdool Hamid Moollan

Anya, Lucie, Victoria Proops

Rosalind Jayne Phelps

Daniel Benjamin Squires

David Niaz Mohyuddin

Jonathan Michael Cohen

Brian Anthony Kennelly

Paul Stuart Mitchell

John Dempster McKendrick

Guy Luke Vassall-Adams

Maya Elizabeth Jane Lester

David Stewart Mumford

Alexander Henry Spencer Booth

Lisa Virginia Busch

Riaz Hussain

Gerald Carlo Facenna

Shaheed Fatima

Laurent Charles Sykes

Jonathan Michael Davey

Jonathan Adam Hilliard

Andrew Smith

Nigel Kenneth Rawding

Thomas Plewman

Penelope Jane Madden