We carried out a consultation exercise during August 2014 about a clash between the annual London panel counsel competition and the process for the appointment of Queen’s Counsel. Existing or prospective panel members who have applied for silk can find themselves having to make applications to the panel which, if they are successful in the silk appointment, prove to have been unnecessary. The numbers affected are not large, but we asked for comments on reorganising the timetable for the London competition in order to avoid such a clash.
Following the consultation we have decided to proceed as follows.
This year a C panel competition will take place according to the usual timetable. The advert will appear in Counsel Magazine at the end of September with a closing date for applications at the end of October.
The A and B panel competitions will take place early in 2015. The advert will appear in Counsel Magazine at the end of February with a closing date for applications at the end of March.
From 2016, competitions for all 3 panels will be advertised in February.
Terms of appointment will be extended to fit in with the new time table.
Splitting the competitions this year will help us to spread the work and to address, at the earliest opportunity, a current shortage of C panellists, in particular in relation to immigration work.
From the end of September, we will make the referee forms for A and B panel applications available on this website at the same time as the C panel referee forms so it will be possible for applicants intending to apply for the next A or B panel competition to obtain a reference from October onwards.