The 93 new QCs and 6 Honorary QC were awarded the rank at the event in Westminster Hall at the Palace of Westminster in London this morning.
The celebration is also known as the ‘Silk Ceremony’ because members wear silk gowns of a particular design. New recipients of the award of QC are described as ‘taking silk’.
The rank of QC can be bestowed on either practising barristers or practising solicitors with Higher Courts Rights of Audience, who have demonstrated excellence in the higher courts.
The honorary rank is made to lawyers, including legal academics, who have made a major contribution to the law of England and Wales outside practice in the courts. It is not a ‘working title’ and cannot be used by the holders in practice.
The appointment of QCs is run by an independent selection panel, which makes its recommendations to the Lord Chancellor, who passes them on to Her Majesty The Queen if he is satisfied with them.
Nominations for Honorary QC are made to the Lord Chancellor, who on the advice of an independent panel organised by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), makes recommendations to The Queen.
The competition for Silk 2015-16 is expected to open this Wednesday (18 February 2015) and close on Wednesday 1 April 2015.