Silk – “first blush” review of the new competition

Quick summary of the silk process this year:

  • There is a limit of 2,750 characters per competency – this is about 450 words MAX
  • 12 cases, IF POSSIBLE, of most important cases in last 2 years is what they are aiming for – particular reference to HCAs in this context – but go to 3 years if you have a reason, to get to 12 cases.  Worth checking in advance with QCA if aiming to use fewer than 12 cases, to pass your reasons why, past them first, but there seems to be more flexibility
  • Name at least 8, and up to 12, judges
  • Name 6 practitioners
  • Name at least 4, and up to 6, clients
  • Need good reason if don’t have the number of assessors (8/6/4), number of cases (12) or if need to go to 3 years
  • If you see a case at first instance and on appeal, only list the case once
  • If you are using a case that is on-going, it needs to have had a sufficiently substantive hearing or development to be included
  • You can send skeletons to assessors and we would encourage you to do so
  • Integrity – there is normally no need to complete this section
  • There used to be a detailed list of relevant jurisdictions within the guidelines that no longer exists – make sure you ring the QCA if you have Qs about jurisdictions such as NI, IoM, international arbitrations etc
  • Interviews will be held in London and Manchester from late September to early November 2015
  • Test saving and using the pdf version of the application form – you will need Adobe Reader XI to complete it – if you cannot get it to work, contact QCA asap so that your problem can be resolved sooner rather than later
  • Sexual orientation has been added to the Monitoring Information sheet
  • Section G has changed slightly so there is no longer a specific box about experience of discrimination
  • Fees are the same as last year – £1800+VAT to apply and the £3000+VAT appointment fee if you are successful

We would also recommend that you read the reports from the last competition including the detailed review of the competencies via the link below.


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