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A Queen's Counsel (postnominal QC), or King's Counsel (postnominal KC) during the reign of a king, is an eminent lawyer (usually a barrister) who is appointed by the Queen to be one of "Her Majesty's Counsel learned in the law." The term is also recognised as an honorific. Membership exists in various Commonwealth jurisdictions around the world, while in some other jurisdictions the name has been replaced by one without monarchical connotations, such as "Senior Counsel" or "Senior Advocate". Queen's Counsel is a status, conferred by the Crown, that is recognised by courts. Members have the privilege of sitting within the Bar of court.
As members wear silk gowns of a particular design (see court dress), the award of Queen's Counsel is known informally as taking silk, and hence QCs are often colloquially called silks. Appointments are made from within the legal profession on the basis of merit rather than a particular level of experience. However, successful applicants tend to be barristers, or (in Scotland) advocates with 15 years of experience or more.

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