May 29, 2024



The title of Senior Counsel or State Counsel (post-nominal letters: SC) is given to a senior lawyer, barrister, or advocate in some countries that were formerly part of the British Empire. “Senior Counsel” is used in current or former Commonwealth countries or jurisdictions that have chosen to change the title “Queen’s Counsel” to a name without monarchical connotations, sometimes (but not always) because the British monarch is no longer head of state, such that reference to the Queen is no longer appropriate. Examples of jurisdictions which have made the change because of the latter reason include India, Hong Kong, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, Kenya, Malawi, Singapore, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. Just as a junior counsel is “called to the [Outer] Bar”, a Senior Counsel is, in some jurisdictions, said to be “called to the Inner Bar”. Senior Counsel may informally style themselves as silks, like their British counterparts. This is the case in Ireland, Australia, Hong Kong, and South Africa.

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