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helping you prepare for silk and judicial appointment.


Interview panel member for the 2005-06 QC Competition

  1. Consultant and interview panel member for the 2005-06 QC Competition

  2. Interviewed and assessed more than 50 applicants for silk, working alongside Baroness Butler-Sloss

  3. Took more than 150 assessments from judicial and QC assessors, in-person and by telephone

  4. Implemented and reviewed the new 2005-06 selection and assessment process

  5. Recommended changes adopted for the revised 2006-07 competition

Julian McCombe  LLB, LLM, MSc Organisational Psychology, Dip Psych, PGDip Psych, MBPsS

Barrister & Principal Consultant

Julian was called to the Bar in 1992, and initially pursued a legal career in the public sector. He was appointed head of research for the Immigration Appellate Authority in 1995, Acting Head of Recruitment for the Financial Services Authority (now the Financial Conduct Authority) in 1999 and Head of Resource and Risk for the Authority’s Enforcement Division in 2001. 13 years ago, he established his now pre-eminent organisational psychology practice, specialising in coaching, recruitment and organisational development in the legal sector.

Appointed consultant and interview panel member for the 2005-2006 QC competition, Julian was engaged in the implementation and review of the new competency-based selection and assessment process. He worked alongside Baroness Butler-Sloss, interviewing and assessing more than 50 applicants for silk, as well as conducting over 150 assessor interviews. At the conclusion of that year’s competition, Julian recommended changes which were then adopted for the revised 2006-07 selection and assessment process. The application stage remained largely as it was, but the territory covered at interview was extended to include all, rather than certain, of the competencies.

Julian is a member of the British Psychological Society and the BPS Specialist Group for Coaching Psychology; he is a recognised expert in competency-based selection and assessment, and specialises in assisting candidates with their applications for silk and judicial appointment.

Previously, Julian recruited for the full range of legal specialists, designing and implementing selection and assessment frameworks and processes, and leading recruitment, HR and organisational development projects for a series of high-profile private and public sector clients, including the Financial Conduct Authority, the Olympic Delivery Authority, the Office for National Statistics and the Ministry of Justice.

Julian is increasingly engaged in high performance coaching in the legal sector, utilising strength-based approaches to assist lawyers in realising their full potential. Identifying those areas in which his clients are naturally gifted and professionally excel, he works with them to elevate their performance to a level of outstanding achievement, whilst downplaying those areas in which they perform less well. Generating new ideas through Appreciative Inquiry (AI), Julian encourages his clients to explore alternative approaches to their professional activities, venturing far outside the typical or expected. With the freedom to focus on what they do best, Julian's clients enjoy superb levels of professional delivery, higher rewards and deeper levels of professional and personal satisfaction.

Maintaining an expert knowledge of employment law, Julian advises both private companies and public bodies on all aspects of domestic and international employment rules and legislation. And, often leading multidisciplinary teams, he also handles a wide variety of legal matters in collaboration with international legal specialists. Recent cases include a complex tax matter and a commercial property dispute in Switzerland, with previous cases ranging from unfair dismissal to bankruptcy proceedings.

Legally qualified Associate Consultants are occasionally employed to assist in aspects of the application review and coaching processes.

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