Silk competition 2016

Quick summary of the silk process this year:

  • The deadline is 5pm on Thur 24 March 2016
  • Test saving and using the pdf version of the application form before you start adding major text so you know that it works – 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
  • You need 12 cases, if possible, of your most important cases in last 2 years – particular reference to HCAs in this context – but go to 3 years if you have a reason, to get to 12 cases or 8 judicial assessors.  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
  • Assessors: 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 – QCA prefer you to go to 3 years for cases to get 8 judicial assessors rather than have fewer than 8 judicial assessors
  • The Narrative Description of practice now has increased to 4,000 characters to describe your practice and justify your 12 cases
  • There remains a limit of 2,750 characters per competency – this is about 400-450 words MAX
  • In the assessor section, section H, there are now 1,000 characters (there were 750 before) to describe your cases, but only 3 boxes for cases they have seen you in
  • 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 is wider clarification of the relevant jurisdictions in Part One of the Guidance – 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 in late September, October and early November 2016
  • Fees are the same as last year – £1,800+VAT to apply and the £3,000+VAT appointment fee if you are successful
  • There are two new members on the panel – Wanda Goldwag (lay member) and Edward Nally (solicitor member)

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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