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Changes to the legal profession in light of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 8 September 2022 will change the shape of the UK in many respects. The Chambers UK Bar team share insights into what this means for the legal market.

Published on 11 October 2022
Written by Alex Marsh
Alex Marsh

What are the most noticeable changes?

Some of the most noticeable changes will take place throughout the legal profession, particularly at the Bar and in courts. As the “fount of justice”, law and order is maintained in the name of the reigning monarch. Judges, magistrates and tribunal members previously took an oath of allegiance to Elizabeth II, but will now take one to Charles III. 

What has been referred to for 70 years as the Queen’s Bench Division is now the Kings Bench Division, where cases pertaining to personal injury, negligence and breach of contract take place.  

Defendants in Crown Court now face the prospect of spending their future at His Majesty’s pleasure. Their cases will continue to be referred to as R v Marsh, but R will now stand for Rex, rather than Regina. 

Silks became KCs overnight

Perhaps the most visible change is the fact that silks became KCs overnight. Those used to referring to Dinah Rose QC will have to become accustomed to asking to speak to Rose, KC.

All silks ranked in Chambers can now be found with the letters KC after their name. 

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