Big wigs and buckled shoes out in force as barristers celebrate Silk Day

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By Emily Hinkley on


First KC ceremony in 70 years

Credit: Essex Court Chambers

The Westminster swearing-in ceremony where top barristers are formally appointed King’s Counsel took place earlier today and barristers and chambers alike have been busy on social media celebrating the special occasion.

Silk Day saw the new KCs donning full bottomed wigs, ceremonial robes and silver buckled shoes, while the eye-catching white silk gloves that complete the ensemble are only meant to be held.

The ceremonial tradition dates back to 1597 when the first QC was appointed by Queen Elizabeth I. The passing of Queen Elizabeth II last September was the first time after her 70-year reign that QCs became KCs once more.

The process is pricey, with applicants coughing up £2,370 just to be considered by the appointments committee — a panel of senior lawyers, a retired judge and non-lawyers. A successful application will set applicants back a further £3,990 in appointment fees.

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This year, out of 279 applicants, 95 received the coveted KC title. Of those just 36 (38%) are women, leaving men to scoop up the other 62 percent of awards. This was despite a record number of women (77) making applications in this round.

Here’s a round-up of tweets from the barristers taking silk today:

Congratulations to all those who received their title today.

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