Friday, 26 February 2010

Congratulations with mixed feelings!

The latest round of Queen's Counsel appointments has been announced with 129 appointees to this elite "kite-mark of excellence" rank in the legal profession - see Ministry of Justice.  I have little doubt that all the appointees deserve this distinction but, whilst the champagne corks are popping in Chambers, it has to be seriously questioned whether the rank is necessary.  Whose interests does it serve: the public or the lawyers?  A few years ago the rank survived an attack by the Office of Fair Trading.  Will it continue to survive into the future?


  1. As a non lawyer I`m surprised at your take on this.

    "I have little doubt that all the appointees deserve this distinction"

    That being the case does not Joe public deserve to know the intellectual quality and expertise he`s buying. Most medical men in Harley Street are bestowed with the rank of "consultant" from the NHS and so hope to justify their fees.

  2. I will reply by offering some links. In 2001, The Office of Fair Trading published "Competition in Professions". That was followed by a report in 2002 - here. Next, in 2003, the OFT published "The Future of Queens Counsel". The the old Department for Constitutional Affairs stepped in with a consultation.

    There were many responses and here is one of them.

    The QC rank survived and continues to be an appointment by the State (technically HM The Queen). I would have preferred the professions to have developed new "kite marks" which were awarded by the professional bodies.