Number of female applicants for QC still stubbornly low, selectors say

By Owen Bowcott for The Guardian, 11 Jan 2016

The number of women applying for Queen’s Counsel remains “stubbornly low”, the appointments panel has said, after promoting 25 female barristers and solicitor advocates among a total of 107.

Among the successful candidates to become senior lawyers was Justine Thornton, a specialist in environmental law.

Announcing the creation of new silks, Helen Pitcher, chairman of the QC selection panel for England and Wales, said: “We remain concerned that the number of female applicants remains stubbornly low, but I am pleased that of those women who did apply, 52% were successful.”

The proportion of applications that came from people with black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds rose slightly, to 14%, but their success rate was lower than average.

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 ‘The justice a woman dispenses is no different to that dispensed by a man’ … Marina Wheeler (left), pictured with Justine Thornton. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian

‘The justice a woman dispenses is no different to that dispensed by a man’ … Marina Wheeler (left), pictured with Justine Thornton. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian