The Minister for Justice has reminded all eligible solicitors and barristers across Kildare that the application process for Senior Counsel for 2021 is still open.
Applications are examined by an Advisory Committee on the grant of Patents of Precedence. This committee was established under the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 and is chaired by the Chief Justice. Successful applicants will thereafter be entitled to use the title of Senior Counsel.
Speaking recently, Minister Helen McEntee said that “The title of Senior Counsel is a prestigious one. It denotes a level of expertise in your chosen profession of solicitor or barrister. I want to encourage all those who are eligible to apply to do so. In particular, I want to see more applications from our highly qualified female solicitors and barristers, and from people from diverse backgrounds. We must all work together to improve diversity across the legal system.
“In June, applications for recommendation for a grant of a Patent of Precedence opened for the first time. While it was encouraging to see a good proportion of applications coming from both legal professions, there was a stark gender imbalance in applications received. Just 23% of solicitor applications and 31% of barrister applications were from women.
“Senior Counsel are also, of course, our future judicial candidates. It is vitally important that we have a diverse judiciary that reflects the modern and inclusive society that Ireland is today. So if you are thinking of applying, my advice to you is to go for it.”
The application form is available on the website of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority (LSRA) at lsra.ie/applications-for-senior-counsel-open-2021/. Applications will be accepted up to 5pm on 5 February 2021.