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Treasury Counsel

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New First Senior Treasury Counsel announced  

Tom Little KC has been appointed as First Senior Treasury Counsel to the Crown, the Attorney General has today announced. Victoria Prentis KC MP, has announced the appointment which will come into effect on 1 April 2024.

The full press release is available: New First Senior Treasury Counsel confirmed.

Treasury Counsel recruitment: Applications for Senior Treasury Counsel and Monitorees are now closed.


Treasury Counsel are a team of specialist advocates who prosecute many of the most serious and complex cases in the country, and advise and appear on behalf of the Law Officers, and other government departments.

The title “Treasury Counsel” derives from the days when all Crown Counsel at the Central Criminal Court were instructed by the Treasury Solicitor. That procedure was changed in 1908 and today the Treasury Counsel team accept the majority of their instructions from the Crown Prosecution Service.

The Treasury Counsel team

The Treasury Counsel team comprises Senior and Junior advocates, and are led by First Senior Treasury Counsel. They are drawn predominantly from criminal sets of Chambers, although not all have previously been members of the CPS Advocate Panel.

Given the nature of their work, it is vitally important that the brightest and best applicants are attracted to this role, regardless of background or where they may be based.

There are currently 15 Treasury Counsel, as follows:

First Senior Treasury Counsel

  • Oliver Glasgow KC, 2 Hare Court

Senior Treasury Counsel

  • William Emlyn Jones KC, 3 Raymond Buildings
  • Julian Evans KC, QEB Hollis Whiteman
  • Tom Little KC, Deka Chambers
  • Jocelyn Ledward, QEB Hollis Whiteman
  • Deanna Heer KC, 5 Paper Buildings

Junior Treasury Counsel

  • Jonathan Polnay, 5 Kings Bench Walk
  • Joel Smith, Furnival Chambers
  • Paul Jarvis, 6 KBW College Hill
  • Ben Lloyd, 6 KBW College Hill
  • Peter Ratliff, 6 KBW College Hill
  • Kerry Broome, QEB Hollis Whiteman
  • Sarah Przybylska, 2 Hare Court
  • Julia Faure-Walker, 2 Hare Court
  • Catherine Pattison, 5 King’s Bench Walk

The ‘Room’

The Treasury Counsel team share office space at the Central Criminal Court (‘the Old Bailey’) where many of their cases are heard. This office space is called ‘the Room’, which is why advocates who are appointed Treasury Counsel are said to be ‘in the Room’.

The Room structure provides a training environment that allows Treasury Counsel to operate as a team, supporting one another, sharing knowledge, and enhancing their skills. Accordingly, members of the team are generally expected to operate from the Room.

Appointment as Treasury Counsel

Treasury Counsel are appointed by the Attorney General through fair and open competition, in consultation with the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Junior Treasury Counsel are appointed following a three-year monitoring period (see below). Once appointed, Junior Treasury Counsel serve an initial period of three years, which can be renewed for a further three years. At the end of the second period of three years Junior Treasury Counsel are eligible to enter the open competition to become Senior Treasury Counsel.

Senior Treasury Counsel are similarly appointed for an initial three years, which can be extended for a further three years.

An open competition is normally held every three years to appoint new Senior Treasury Counsel. This involves a written application and an assessed interview. Applicants do not need to have been Junior Treasury Counsel in order to apply.

Limiting the periods Treasury Counsel serve ensures that ‘the Room’ is invigorated, and that those within it bring a range of skills and specialisms.

Treasury Counsel Monitorees

In order to be appointed as Junior Treasury Counsel every applicant must undertake a three-year period of monitoring. Advocates are appointed as ‘monitorees’ through fair and open competition.

Once appointed as monitorees, they undertake a series of monitored cases with performance assessed by a combination of the instructing solicitors, leading advocates, members of the judiciary and opponents. Instructions may include those from the CPS Central Casework Divisions, from the CPS London Homicide Team, as well instructions in other serious and sensitive casework from across the CPS. In addition, monitorees are assessed on advisory work, such as advice on unduly lenient sentence (ULS) cases.

Every monitoree is assigned a Junior Treasury Counsel mentor to oversee their three-year monitoring period and provide confidential advice and assistance. Support is also offered more widely by the other members of the Treasury Counsel team.

At the end of the monitoring period, the feedback from all the “monitored cases” is collated, together with any additional feedback that has been provided. That material is anonymised and reviewed by the Treasury Counsel Committee who make the appointment recommendation to the Attorney General entirely upon this material and nothing else. There is no further application or interview.

The following advocates were appointed as Treasury Counsel Monitorees following the 2021 recruitment campaign:  

  • Serena Gates - Red Lion Chambers
  • Nicholas Hearn - Furnival Chambers
  • Ben Holt - 5KBW
  • Philp McGhee - QEB Hollis Whiteman
  • Lucy Organ - 6KBW
  • Alistair Richardson - 6KBW
  • Fiona Robertson - 2 Hare Court

An open evening was held in November 2023 to provide information about Treasury Recruitment opportunities. The next competition will be held in 2027.

Further information

Any queries regarding the Treasury Counsel Pathway or Treasury Counsel recruitment more generally can be sent to the mailbox.

Further reading

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