Barristers at the self-employed and employed Bar can apply to be appointed as Kings's Counsel (KC). They are considered as experts in their field, generally with a minimum of 15 years' practice. When a barrister is appointed as a KC this is known informally as "taking silk" because of their entitlement to wear black silk gowns in court instead of standard court dress.

Self-employed King's Counsel

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Employed King's Counsel

KC - Employed - Total - 2019-2023.png KC - Employed - Gender - 2019-2023.png KC - Employed - Ethnicity - 2019-2023.png KC - Employed - Age - 2019-2023.png

We publish annual data on diversity at the Bar which is available from our Regular Research publications page.


* Please note that reporting mechanisms have changed over the past years. As a result of sourcing from various data streams and the implementation of more robust quality assurance structures some numbers may vary from previous publications. 

 ** We gather diversity data for individual barristers via the "MyBar" online portal, as part of the Authorisation to Practise process, using a Legal Services Board-designed form. Provision of the data is voluntary because data protection laws dictate that people - in any profession - cannot be obliged to disclose equality and diversity data about themselves if they do not wish to do so.  

Date of next update

February 2025

Source of data

This data is sourced from the Bar Standards Board Database.