Queen’s Counsel return to Victoria

Victoria’s first new Queen’s Counsel in 14 years have now been appointed.

Letters Patent have been issued this week appointing 156 Victorian Senior Counsel as Queen’s Counsel.

Attorney-General Robert Clark congratulated the new appointees.

“These appointments are further recognition of the skills, experience and abilities of Victoria’s new QCs,” Mr Clark said.

“The reintroduction of the office of Queen’s Counsel allows those senior Victorian barristers who so wish to benefit from the high regard in which this long-standing title is held.

“The restoration of the title strengthens the standing of the Victorian Bar and will enhance opportunities for the Victorian legal profession to provide services both within Australia and overseas.

“The Government has welcomed the opportunity to listen to and work with the Bar Council on this reform.

“Until now, barristers from the UK and other jurisdictions that have the title QC are often regarded by non-lawyer clients as being more senior than Victorian SCs, and many senior Victorian barristers consider this has placed them at a competitive disadvantage.”

The reforms do not change current arrangements for appointing senior barristers, under which Senior Counsel are appointed by the Chief Justice with the support of an advisory committee.

However, existing and future SCs who wish to be appointed as Queen’s Counsel will be recommended to the Governor for appointment upon application. Those existing and future SCs who wish to continue to be known as SCs will be able to do so.