Applications are now open for solicitors and barristers to apply to the Advisory Committee on the grant of Patents of Precedence to use the title of Senior Counsel. The deadline for receipt of completed applications is 5pm on 5 February 2021.

The Advisory Committee was established under the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 on 2 April 2020.

The Advisory Committee has established the criteria – as set out in the objectives in section 173(2) of the Act – to be met by a legal practitioner in order for a recommendation to be made by the Advisory Committee to the Government that a Patent of Precedence be granted to him or her.

This is the second round of the Patents of Precedence process. It is for recommendations to be made by the Advisory Committee to Government in 2021.

The grant of a Patent of Precedence in relation to a barrister entitles him or her to be called to the Inner Bar and to use the title of Senior Counsel; and in relation to a solicitor, entitles him or her to use the title of Senior Counsel.

The Advisory Committee consists of:

  • The Chief Justice (Chairperson of the Committee),
  • The President of the Court of Appeal,
  • The President of the High Court,
  • The Attorney General,
  • The Chairperson of the Bar Council,
  • The President of the Law Society and
  • Dr Don Thornhill, a lay member of the Authority (and its chair) nominated by the Minister for Justice and Equality.

The Legal Services Regulatory Authority provides administrative and secretarial support to the Advisory Committee.

How to Apply

For further details and information on how to submit an application, please see the page Applications for Senior Counsel.

The deadline for receipt of completed applications is 5pm on 5 February 2021

ENDS – Posted 4 December 2020