In the United Kingdom and in some Commonwealth countries, a Queen's Counsel (post-nominal QC) during the reign of a queen, or King's Counsel (post-nominal KC) during the reign of a king, is a lawyer (usually a barrister or advocate) who is a senior counsel in court cases; in important cases each side is typically led by one. Technically, they are appointed by the monarch of the country to be one of 'Her [His] Majesty's Counsel learned in the law'. The position originated in England. Some Commonwealth countries have either abolished the position, or renamed it so as to remove monarchical connotations, for example, 'Senior Counsel' or 'Senior Advocate'.
Queen's Counsel is an office, conferred by the Crown, that is recognised by courts. Members have the privilege of sitting within the inner bar of court. The term is recognised as an honorific. As members wear silk gowns of a particular design (see court dress), appointment as Queen's Counsel is known informally as receiving, obtaining, or taking silk and 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.