Amanda Pinto QC, Chair of the Bar Council, said: “All those who have been awarded Silk in this competition deserve congratulations. We’re particularly pleased to see a significant increase in the number of ethnic minority silk appointments, but we have always cautioned on the need to look at data over several years before drawing conclusions. We must maintain our absolute focus on increasing the diversity of the profession at all levels.

"The Bar Council is currently developing programmes specifically aimed at accelerating diversity throughout our profession. These are supported by the Queen’s Counsel Appointments and are aimed at ensuring the Bar is truly diverse at all levels and across all practice areas. Initiatives include developing good practice specifically around the fair allocation of work and mentoring. We are also addressing the barriers to progression and retention and the need for interventions to increase diversity at the Bar. This year we are launching a future leaders programme aimed at ensuring that the most senior levels of the Bar are representative of the society we serve. The legal professions have just marked 100 years since women were allowed to practise law. Progress is speeding up and barristers and the Bar Council aren’t going to wait another 100 years to see substantial improvements on diversity."