Details of 37 legal practitioners who are to be granted the title of Senior Counsel have today been published. The list comprises 20 barristers and 17 solicitors whose names have been approved by the Government following the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on the grant of Patents of Precedence.
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. In relation to a solicitor, it entitles him or her to use the title of Senior Counsel.
This is the first time that solicitors have been allowed apply for the title of Senior Counsel under the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015. This follows the establishment by the Legal Services Regulatory Authority of the Advisory Committee on the grant of Patents of Precedence in April 2020.
The Government approved the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on the grant of Patents of Precedence at its cabinet meeting on Tuesday 1st September 2020. Following the receipt of formal notification today [Thursday 3rd September] from the Department of the Taoiseach, the names of those who are to be granted patents may now be published. They are listed below.
The Advisory Committee established the criteria, based on objectives set out in section 173 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. The Legal Services Regulatory Authority has provided administrative and secretarial support to the independent Committee but does not make recommendations or appointments.
The membership of the Advisory Committee is:
• 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
• Dr Don Thornhill, a lay member of the Authority (and its chair) nominated by the Minister for Justice and Equality.
Legal Practitioners to be granted Patents of Precedence to use title ‘Senior Counsel’ – September 2020
Damien M.P Tansey
3 September 2020