There are many people out there who have QCs represent them when they are at a criminal trial. With this being said, there are others who are not quite clear about what this is and why it is beneficial. If you are trying to gain a better understanding of how this works, here is a bit of insight on the matter.
The first thing you should know is that QC stands for Queen’s Counsel. This is a lawyer that has been appointed by a monarch. It is considered an honour when this title is bestowed upon someone and there are only a limited number of people who have this distinction. One of the main privileges offered to someone with this title is the ability to sit on the bar in court.
Those who have received this honour are given robes to wear in court that are made of silk. They are specially made and are unlike any clothing that is worn by other types of legal professionals. When being awarded this title, it is common for it to be referred to as taking the silk. This is also the slang term that has been used historically to describe people in this position.
It used to be somewhat of a disadvantage to become a QC because there were so many restrictions in place. For instance, it used to be required that those offered this distinction were barristers as opposed to traditional lawyers. In addition, they were not allowed to represent people in criminal trials unless they were accompanied by a junior barrister. For this reason, many people decided not to move forward and try to achieve this award.
One thing that should be made clear is the fact that there are not many English QCs and this is not because it is as difficult to qualify as it has been in the past. This is simply because not many people choose to apply for this distinction. Whether this is because of perceived difficulty or misinformation is unclear, but this is the reality.
Every case out there does not require someone of this high stature to sit in court, but those with particularly complicated legal issues should definitely take this under advisement. Keep in mind that the financial responsibility that will need to be shouldered is far larger than it would be if you decided to work with someone that does not have this level of power. This link will introduce you to some high profile barristers in the UK, many of whom are QCs.