Silk 17/18 has launched

Quick summary of the silk process this year:

  • The deadline is 5pm on Thur 30th March 2017
  • Test saving and using the 69 page pdf version of the application form before you start adding major text so you know that it works – you will need Adobe Reader DC, XI or X 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 can now use cases going back 3 years with out needing to justify why – they would prefer 2 years as memories fade beyond 2 years, but you can use 3 year cases if necessary.  Only in exceptional cases will they accept cases beyond 3 years
  • You need 12 cases, if possible, of your most important cases in last 2/3 years – particular reference for HCAs in this context.  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)and indeed the form includes a tick box to show you know that your application will be materially affected if you have significantly fewer than 8/6/4 assessors
  • The Narrative Description of practice has 4,000 characters to describe your practice and justify your 12 cases
  • There remains a limit of 2,750 characters per competency in the self-assessment – this is about 400-450 words MAX
  • In the assessor section, section H, there are 1,000 characters to describe your cases, and 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 in advance when you ask them if they are prepared to be an assessor 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 mid September to mid October – this is earlier than normal – this is likely to be so that the results can be announced in December 2017 rather than making candidates wait until January 2018
  • Fees are the same as last year – £1,800+VAT to apply (those who earn <£60K are entitled to a concessionary applic rate of £900+VAT) – then there is the £3,000+VAT appointment fee if you are successful
  • Sir Alex Allan now chairs the panel and Dr Maggie Semple OBE has joined the panel

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

Get in touch asap if you want to get a first draft date in the diary, as slots fill up very quickly.  And good luck everyone.

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