The legal profession's most exclusive club, the Silks, received another five members yesterday during the formal call of senior counsel. Chief Justice Andrew Li Kwok-nang greeted the five barristers during a traditional ceremony in the High Court attended by a who's who of Hong Kong's judicial scene. 'The Bar is an arduous profession and to succeed, strong determination and total commitment is required,' he said. 'Through years of hard and dedicated work, you have achieved this rank.' Mr Justice Li said the number of applications by barristers wishing to add SC - senior counsel - to their names was 'robust' this year, with the total reaching 17. 'With five appointments, the success rate this year was about 30 per cent,' he said. 'The rank of senior counsel is a badge of honour and a mark of distinction.' The new appointees are: Horace Wong Yuk-lun, 43, Eric Kwok Tung-ming, 44, Peter Ng Kar-fai, 41, Anderson Chow Ka-ming, 39, and Peter Norman Duncan, 57. Hong Kong Bar Association chairman Edward Chan King-sang joked that the Bar was happy to see the appointments because the rank of senior counsel meant higher subscription fees. He also said the new senior counsels would replace the five members the Bar had lost when some were promoted to the bench as judges. Director of Public Prosecutions Grenville Cross SC also welcomed the new senior counsel on behalf of Secretary for Justice Elsie Leung Oi-sie. 'It is very much in the public interest that there should be a strong and fearless body of advocates who are identified as the leaders of their profession,' he said. 'By providing a form of career structure for the Bar, the system of silk encourages counsel to aspire to achieve this symbol of excellence. 'The institution of silk is not only a quality mark in the market, but, properly seen, it is also an integral part of the machinery of justice itself.'