Legal Business Blogs

White & Case duo among four solicitors made up in reduced 2018 silk round

White & Case arbitration partners Dipen Sabharwal (pictured) and Aloke Ray make up half of the solicitor-advocates taking silk in this year’s Queen’s Counsel (QC) appointments, with 108 making the cut overall.

Completing the all-male group of solicitor-advocates taking silk were Allen & Overy partner Mark Levy and Stephen Fietta, founder of disputes boutique Fietta.

Sabharwal is head of White & Case’s EMEA international arbitration practice, and was promoted to partner in 2012. Ray joined the firm in 1999, and was promoted in 2006.

Sabharwal described taking silk as ‘the ultimate badge of recognition’. Ray, meanwhile, told Legal Business: ‘The pleasure and privilege comes from the fact it is associated with the high quality standard of work we do as a firm. Not all clients will react the same, but I can’t see how the extra recognition would hurt.’

The four solicitors appointed in this round marks the third consecutive year of decline, however: five solicitors took silk in 2017, and six the year before.

Solicitors were far more successful on average this year, however, with four out of five succeeding in their applications. Last year, only half of the ten solicitor applicants were successful.

There were also significantly less overall appointments, falling 9% to 108 from 119. There was an even greater fall in applicants, however, to 240 from 272.

Four barristers’ chambers shared the honour of having the highest number of tenants take silk: Brick Court Chambers, 39 Essex Chambers, Red Lion Chambers and Littleton Chambers each had four barristers appointed.

It continues a strong run for Red Lion Chambers, which topped the list outright last year with six barristers taking silk. For elite London set Brick Court Chambers, it is a return to form after only one tenant was made up last year.

Male appointees far outweighed successful female applicants: 78 to 30. Women were more successful on average though, with 55% of female applicants making the cut compared to 42% for men.

Ethnic minority representation remained sluggish, with 13 out of 30 non-white applicants taking silk compared to 18 out of 33 last year.

Sir Alex Allan, chair of the Queen’s Counsel Selection Panel, commented: ‘We remain concerned that the number of female applicants remains comparatively low, but I am pleased that of those women who did apply, well over 50% were successful. I was also pleased to note that the number of BAME applicants appointed was in proportion to their representation amongst applicants, and amongst the relevant cohort of the profession.’

Sabharwal added: ‘The Queen’s Counsel Appointments and the Bar Council have been making strenuous efforts in improving diversity in recent years. Why the needle isn’t moving in the right direction is a complex story, but perhaps it’s a case of laying the groundwork now for a better result in a few years’ time.’

The silk swearing-in ceremony will be held on 11 March 2019.

For a longer read on the pageantry and magic of the ceremony, read ‘The Silk Round: One fine day’.


The full list of appointments (in alphabetical order):  

Zubair Ahmad, 2 Hare Court

Narita Bahra, 2 Hare Court

James Bailey, Wilberforce Chambers

Charles Banner, Landmark Chambers

William Bennett, 5RB

Balraj Bhatia, No. 1 High Pavement Chambers

Anna Boase, One Essex Court

Tim Buley, Landmark Chambers

Edmund Burge, Five St Andrew’s Hill

Peter Burns, Byrom Street Chambers

Victoria Butler-Cole, 39 Essex Chambers

John Cammegh, 9 Bedford Row

Giles Cannock, Kings Chambers

Lorraine Cavanagh, St John’s Buildings

Mark Chacksfield, 8 New Square

Richard Chapman, 18 St John Street Chambers

Nicholas Corsellis, QEB Hollis Whiteman

Catherine Cowton, Queen Elizabeth Building

Nicholas Craig, 3 Verulam Buildings

Timothy Cray, 6KBW College Hill

Clifford Darton, Ely Place Chambers

Andrew de Mestre, 4 Stone Buildings

Peter de Verneuil Smith, 3 Verulam Buildings

Katherine Deal, 3 Hare Court

Kevin Dent, 5 St Andrew’s Hill

Thomas Dumont, Radcliffe Chambers

Rory Dunlop, 39 Essex Chambers

David Durose, Furnival Chambers

Nigel Edwards, St Pauls Chambers

David Emanuel, Garden Court Chambers

Stephen Fietta, Fietta

Dean George, 2 Bedford Row

Katherine Goddard, Bank House Chambers

Michael Goodwin, Red Lion Chambers

Nina Grahame, Garden Court North Chambers

Margaret Gray, Brick Court Chambers

Jaime Hamilton, Nine St John Street

Jonathan Hand, Outer Temple Chambers

Mark Harries, Carmelite Chambers

Christopher Harris, 3 Verulam Buildings

Alec Haydon, Brick Court Chambers

Thomas Hickman, Blackstone Chambers

Isabel Hitching, Crown Office Chambers

Fiona Horlick, Outer Temple Chambers

Mozammel Hossain, 187 Fleet Street

Nicola Howard, 25 Bedford Row

Nicholas Isaac, Tanfield Chambers

Sarah Jones, Pump Court Chambers

Robert Kellar, 1 Crown Office Row

Charlotte Kilroy, Doughty Street Chambers

Ronit Kreisberger, Monckton Chambers

Lindsay Lane, 8 New Square

James Leabeater, 4 Pump Court

Mark Levy, Allen & Overy

David Lewis, Hardwicke

Richard Littler, Exchange Chambers

Dale Martin, Littleton Chambers

Jane McCafferty, 11KBW

Constance McDonnell, Serle Court

Nicholas Medcroft, Fountain Court Chambers

Christina Michalos, 5RB

Sian Mirchandani, 4 New Square

Keir Monteith, Garden Court Chambers

Giles Mooney, 9 Gough Square

Alison Morgan, 6KBW College Hill

Aparna Nathan, Devereux Chambers

Michelle Nelson, Red Lion Chambers

Brian Nicholson, 11 South Square

Robert Palmer, Monckton Chambers

Christopher Paxton, Red Lion Chambers

Alan Payne, 5 Essex Court Chambers

Simon Pentol, 25 Bedford Row

Fionn Pilbrow, Brick Court Chambers

Nigel Povoas, 7 Bedford Row

Steven Powles, Doughty Street Chambers

Sarah Pritchard, Kings Chambers

Aloke Ray, White & Case

Jonathan Rees, Churchers Solicitors

Jamie Riley, Littleton Chambers

James Rivett, Pump Court Tax Chambers

James Roberts, 1 King’s Bench Walk

Daniel Robinson, Red Lion Chambers

Dipen Sabharwal, White & Case

Daniel Saoul, 4 New Square

Diya Sen Gupta, Blackstone Chambers

Mohinderpal Sethi, Littleton Chambers

Daniel Shapiro, Crown Office Chambers

Neil Sheldon, 1 Crown Office Row

Nicholas Sidall, Littleton Chambers

Katherine Sloane, Monckton Chambers

Julia Smart, Furnival Chambers

Christopher Smith, Quadrant Chambers

Jessica Stephens, 4 Pump Court

John Thackray, Wilberforce Chambers

David Thomas, 39 Essex Chambers

James Todd, 39 Essex Chambers

Stephanie Tozer, Falcon Chambers

William Upton, Six Pump Court

Guglielmo Verdirame, 20 Essex Street

Jeremy Wainwright, 3 Temple Gardens

Victoria Wakefield, Brick Court Chambers

Robert Walton, Landmark Chambers

David Whittaker, 2 Hare Court

Adam Wolanski, 5RB

Damian Woodward-Carlton, 42 Bedford Row

Richard Wormald, Three Raymond Buildings

David Yates, Pump Court Tax Chambers

Hossein Zahir, Garden Court Chambers