What do Q.C. and K.C. stand for after a lawyer’s name?

Michael CarabashYou often see a lawyer with a name like John Smith, Q.C. – but what exactly does the Q.C. mean? Sometimes, in the olden days, it appears as K.C. Well, Q.C. means “Queen’s Counsel”, an honour given to a senior and distinguished barrister in recognition of an outstanding career during Queen Victoria’s reign. K.C. means King’s Counsel. K.C. replaced “serjeant” as the highest honour within the bar to which a barrister could aspire. Source: Daniel Pool, What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist – the Facts of Daily Life in 19th-Centure England, (New York, U.S.A.: Simon & Schuster, 1993), p. 45.

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