A&O, Freshfields, HSF, King & Spalding and Three Crowns, rejoice as new Silks, revealed
About 45 percent of the latest QCs are women; applied 'comparatively few' advocates from black African or black Caribbean backgrounds.
Five solicitor advocates have been named as the winners of the England & Wales award for excellence in advocacy. They have joined a total of 101 lawyers who are to be appointed Queen's Counsel in the New Year.
The arbitration specialist firms are King & Spalding, Allen & Overy, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) and boutique Three Crowns - the number of successful solicitor advocates is identical to 2020 when the contingent was dominated by US law firms.
King & Spalding's Ruth Byrne said: "I am delighted to be recognized alongside such talented and diverse group of attorneys."
In addition to Tom Sprange QC and John Savage QC, Byrne is also the US firm's third solicitor-silk. "Throughout my career to date, I have received guidance and support from many colleagues who have in great part contributed to this achievement and for whom I am forever grateful," added he.
Kate Davies McGill, a partner at Allen & Overy, was also appointed to replace Matthew Gearing QC, who left Fountain Court in April, 2021. A founding partner of the firm, Gaetan Verhoosel, became the fourth QC at Three Crowns.
With Verhoosel's elevation, the boutique is now on a par with Skadden Arps, which has four silks; he joins Constantine Partasides QC, Reza Mohtashami QC and Georgios Petrochilos QC - all former Freshfields lawyers.
As for Freshfields, Sylvia Noury, head of the firm's arbitration practice, was appointed; due to the departure of Ben Juratowitch QC and Nigel Rawding QC to Essex Court and Twenty Essex, the firm's silk presence has dwindled from seven to five, but it remains the firm with the highest concentration of silks among the Magic Circle UK law firms.
The HSF also celebrated Chris Parker's appointment, which has replaced solicitor Adam Johnson QC and barrister Tom Leech QC, who left the High Court benches in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
In addition to global head of arbitration Paula Hodges and Hong Kong-based Simon Chapman, Parker is the third QC at HSF presently practicing.
"Chris is an extremely talented legal advocate and we are very proud of this appointment," Hodges said. "It reveals Chris's legal excellence and demonstrates the high regard in which arbitrators, clients, and his peers hold him. It also demonstrates the firm's expertise in disputes and the great bench strength of its disputes practice."
Parker told this title: "I'm thrilled and grateful for everyone who has mentored and supported me." Similar to 2020, Essex Court Chambers has the most barristers succeeding in this year's round, with six appointments: Neil Hart, Edward Brown, Jeremy Brier, Tim Akkouh, Emily Wood and Lucas Bastin. The tally was one more than 2020.
As a result, the number of appointments was lower than in 2021, when 116 appointments made three grades, although 45percent of the appointments were for women. Out of 72 applicants, 45 women were appointed.
Among those applying who were non-white ethnicities, 39percent were successful - 15 of 38. The success rate of non-white applicants was lower than in 2021 when 46percent of non-white applicants were accepted.
Although ethnic minority appointees represented the same proportion of the profession as ethnic minority appointees overall, QC appointment panel chair Sir Alex Allan commented: "It is disappointing that among that group, there are relatively few applicants from black African or black Caribbean backgrounds."