What Is a Silk Lawyer?

When a barrister or an advocate is chosen by an independent panel committee for his or her knowledge, experience, and skill, the term “Silk lawyer” is used colloquially to refer to the QC (Queen’s Counsel).

“Silk lawyers” (QCs) wear silk gowns, so the process of becoming one is also known as “taking silk,” which is the name given to the process of becoming one of these lawyers. In contrast, junior barristers wear wool robes to court, demonstrating how silk robes are worn in a courtroom to distinguish different rankings of barrister. As a QC, you are entitled to a seat at the bar during a court case.

Silk Law Firms’ Origins and Development

The honorary title of “one of Her Majesty’s counsel learned in the law” is recognised by courts in the United Kingdom and some Commonwealth countries, including Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. A QC’s title has been renamed to Senior Counsel or Senior Advocate in some Commonwealth countries such as Sri Lanka and Nigeria, while others, like the United Kingdom, have kept it but shortened it to Senior Counsel or Senior Advocate.

With Sir Francis Bacon’s appointment in the late 1700s and early 1600s, the practise has been in use ever since. Helen Kinnear became the first woman to serve as a King’s Counsel in 1934, more than three centuries after the practise was first instituted.

The term “King’s Counsel” is used to refer to the Queen’s Counsel when the monarch is a man (KC). As of more recent times, English solicitors have also been named Queen’s Counsel.

Just How Do Silk Lawyers Get Their Job?

The appointment of silk lawyers is more often based on merit than on the number of years of experience they have. Most QCs, on the other hand, have a combined experience of ten to fifteen years. In order to retain the services of a Queen’s Counsel lawyer, one must charge a high fee and have a high level of expertise. In addition to their “senior” barrister, they have another member of the legal team.

Lawyers interested in becoming Queen’s Counsel must submit an application each year. Letters patent issued by Her Majesty the Queen are given to successful applicants.

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